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. Especially if you have a 120 GB or smaller drive, which many inexpensive systems do.

Google Chrome uses too much disk space

When Google Chrome uses too much disk space, the solution is fairly simple.

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. Open 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.

It’s probably the newest one you want, but it makes sense to double check just to be sure.

Why Chrome uses so much disk space

Each old, dated version of Chrome that’s hanging around occupies about 200 MB of space, at least on my system. That’s non-trivial, especially on an SSD, where it pays to save all the disk space you can. I remember when operating systems were smaller than that, but that’s another story.

There’s only supposed to be one older version of the web browser 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. And being able to quickly patch and revert improves security. You don’t have to be afraid of updating if the previous version is still right there.

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 200 megs can make a difference.