You may know that I have a Intel Solid State Drive with 80 Gigabytes of space as my primary hard drive.
Windows 7 is installed on that drive and the majority of applications that I use. I recently noticed that the drive had only 10 Gigabytes of free space remaining.
I was not aware of any "big" changes that I made, either by moving or copying data to the c: drive or by installing or updating applications or the operating system that would attribute for the discrepancy in space.
I decided to investigate and noticed that my User data folder was by far the largest folder on the system, with more than 22 Gigabytes of space that data in it occupied.
The Google Chrome web browser, to my surprise, occupied almost 3.5 Gigabytes of space on the drive, which seemed awfully lot. A closer investigation showed the following space distribution:
The Chrome folder that you see belongs to the Chrome dev version that I use on the system, the Chrome SxS folder to the Chrome Canary version that I installed recently.
Google as you can see keeps copies of older versions of the browser on the drive. This went back to December 2010 for the Chrome Dev version for instance. It is not clear why the versions are not deleted after an update. Even if it is for restoration purposes it would usually be enough to keep one or two of the last versions but nine feels like overkill.
It is possible to delete those old folders right away.There does not seem to be any negative impact to the browser or system. I managed to reduce the storage space requirements from 3.4 Gigabytes to 600 Megabytes just by deleting those old folders from the hard drive.
2.8 Gigabytes may not sound like much at first especially if you are running a hard drive with hundreds of Gigabytes of space. The knowledge however could be useful in the future as the Chrome installation directory grows in size with nearly every version increase.
Update: Only the two most recent versions of Chrome are kept as of today. It is unclear if what I experienced was a bug or if Google modified the process.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.