Google Chrome uses too much disk space

Sometimes, Google Chrome uses too much disk space. There’s an easy explanation for it, and there’s also an easy fix to reduce Chrome’s disk usage. Here’s how.

When Chrome updates itself, it doesn’t always delete the previous version(s). If you have a 3 TB HDD, that doesn’t matter much, but if you have an SSD, it sure does.

Go to your Start button and navigate to your Chrome icon. Right-click on it and select Properties. Note where Chrome is installed, then open that directory in Explorer. (Since Chrome ends up in a different location in every version of Windows, and I don’t have every version of Windows, I can’t just tell you a directory to go to.)

You’ll probably see more than one version of Chrome in that directory. Launch Chrome, then go to the tool menu and select “About” to verify the version you’re actually running. Then go back to your Explorer window and delete whatever other version(s) are there that you aren’t running.

Each old, dated version of Chrome that’s hanging around occupies about 140 MB of space, at least on my system. That’s non-trivial, especially on my now-small SSD, which makes it necessary for me to save all the disk space I can. Was it really 10 years ago that operating systems were smaller than that? Even the bloated ones?

There’s only supposed to be one older version in that directory. If you see multiples, delete all but the two most recent ones.

Keeping the previous version around helps in case of bugs that force you to revert to a previous version. But if you’ve been running the current version a while and haven’t noticed any problems, it’s perfectly safe to ditch even that most recent previous version to free up some space. If you’re in a bind, that 140 megs can make a difference.

5 thoughts on “Google Chrome uses too much disk space

  • November 20, 2010 at 2:33 pm
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    And don’t forget how much temporary cache space Chrome and Google Earth use!

    I run a BAT file on boot occasionally which contains (among other things)

    attrib -a -r -s -h "C:\Documents and Settings\A Valued Customer\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Cache\*.*" /d /s
    rd /q /s "c:\Documents and Settings\A Valued Customer\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Cache\"
    attrib -a -r -s -h "C:\Documents and Settings\A Valued Customer\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\GoogleEarth\*.*"
    rd /q /s "c:\Documents and Settings\A Valued Customer\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\GoogleEarth\*.*"

  • November 20, 2010 at 2:43 pm
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    I know that code wouldn’t parse…. 😀

    Another way to save some disk space when using Chrome or Google Earth is to use a standalone installer when installing them for the first time. Once installed, hunt down and rename (don’t delete) GoogleUpdate.exe after killing the process via Task Manager. Once a month or so, rename it back to the original and go to Help About in each program and update. THEN do as you’ve suggested, and once again rename GoogleUpdate.exe to something innocuous.

    • November 20, 2010 at 6:56 pm
      Permalink

      I fixed it for you. And thanks for those tips!

  • December 3, 2010 at 10:59 pm
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    Link works, new version now at 8.

    2010-12-03 version = 8.0.552.215

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