Difference Between C And D Drives (Everything To Know)

It is possible to wonder why all your important files are on the C drive, and why you have all the apps that you install there.

Why can’t the computer store data on the D drive when the C drive is nearly full?

Continue reading to learn about the defaults and rules of computers and how you can modify them to suit your needs.


Volume 0% – 0 seconds of 0.



What is the Difference Between C and D Drives?

Partitioned volumes on a physical hard disk are C and D drives.

They are treated as distinct entities by the operating system.

It is possible for the computer to default to starting from the C drive, since Windows is installed there. However, it’s not required.

Although most people will stick with the default settings, you can alter the settings and modify the drives if necessary.

What is the C Drive?

Each computer comes with a hard drive that stores data.

After the manufacturer or you have installed the operating system on your computer, the manufacturer will install it on the hard disk.

The partitions on the hard drive are usually divided into different parts for data storage. The C drive, which is known as “Local Disk C”, is the primary active partition.

Your operating system, boot sector and other important information are installed on the C drive.

After you turn on your computer it will prompt for the information needed to boot from the C drive.

Other software and programs can also be installed automatically on the C drive.

You might see letters for other drives if your hard drive has been partitioned.

The C drive is still the first available for computers that run on Microsoft operating systems like Windows or MS-DOS. This is commonly referred to as a computer.

The following steps can be used to locate the C drive in your computer’s hard drive:

  1. If you don’t see them, type “File Explorer” into the Windows search box. Or click the My Computer and This Computer icons.
  2. After the new window has opened, locate Local Disk(C) under the left menu.
  3. Double-click the icon to open C drive and view the files and folders.

Please Note: These files are critical system files and can be deleted or moved to cause program corruption.

You can make a shortcut to the desktop to get to the C drive.

  1. To get to the Local disk C, follow the steps above.
  2. Right-click the title to select Create Shortcut, or Copy in the drop-down menu.
  3. Go to the desktop, and right-click in an empty space.
  4. Select Paste as Shortcut.

What is the D Drive?

The D drive is the first drive after the C drive.

Although the purpose of the D drive can vary from one computer to another, manufacturers typically use it for a recovery disk.

Your computer will defaultly name the disk drive the D drive if it has both a hard drive (or both a CD-ROM or DVD drive).

You can also create a drive if you don’t already have one.

This is what many people do to save their personal files and apps.

Some people believe that separating personal data and computer system data will increase performance and ease maintenance.

It is true that dividing files from old systems with little memory would increase the computer’s performance.

It won’t make a big difference on computers with larger capacities than 2TB.

This task, on the other hand, could make computer maintenance much easier.

You’re in luck if you have apps, games and other personal files stored on the D drive and need to reinstall Windows, or perform a factory reset.

Your files and apps that were stored on the C drive would be lost and you would have to reinstall them.

You can’t retrieve files such as photos, videos, or documents if you don’t have backups.

You can still avoid data loss if your content is on the D drive.

Gamers would benefit from this method to install their games on their D drives.

Is a Drive’s name a Descriptive of Its Job?

As we have already mentioned, computers that run Microsoft operating systems assign the primary and first partitions of the hard drive to the letter C.

If you don’t change the name or functionality, you will see that the operating system is installed on the C drive.

You may be asking why drive names begin with the letter C.

What about the letters A and B? Two floppy disks were supported by computers back in the days when they ran on DOS.

The first was used to run the computer. The second was used for copying and transferring data.

These letters are reserved for floppy disks, even though no computer has them anymore.

The D drive is the name given to a hard drive that has a partition or a drive.

It recognizes an external device as D, E, F if you create a new partition on your hard drive or connect it to your computer like a printer or flash drive.

If you don’t change the defaults, you could say that the drive’s name defines its functionality.

If you do manage to change drive names, however, the statement will not be correct.

Full C drive symptoms and issues

The system can develop problems if your primary hard drives are full or the C drive is empty.

  1. Operating system performance will drop and it will slow down.

It will take Windows forever to start, and files will take a long time to load.

  1. Either you won’t have the ability to install updates or apps, or they will install incorrectly.
  2. It’ll crash or freeze if you try to perform an intensive operation on your computer.
  3. It will be impossible to store more data.

Windows XP will display the following message in pop-up with the Low Disk space title: “You’re running low on disk space on Local Disk. (C:).

Click here …” to free up space by deleting unnecessary or outdated files

Windows 7 and 10 will not display a pop up warning but the Local Disk will be in red.

It is a rule that at least 10% of your hard drive’s storage space should be left unused for fragmentation or virtual memory. This will ensure it runs smoothly.

How to Free Up Space on Your C Drive?

1. Clear Out Unnecessary Files

For freeing up space on your C drive, the first thing you think of is to delete unimportant files and uninstall unnecessary apps.

You can’t delete videos, photos, documents or personal content from your C drive.

You could be harmed if you delete any system files.

You can find the data you need to delete by going through the C drive folders one after another.

There is however a simpler way:

  1. In the Windows search box, type “Settings” and click the link to open the app.
  2. Click on Systems and then click on Storage in the left menu bar.
  3. You’ll find all drives on your computer once you go to the Storage Setting.
  4. Click on the C drive for a list of categories, including Desktop, Temporary files and Pictures, Other, and others.
  5. Click on any category, such as Pictures or Videos. Then hit the View to take you there.

You can now delete any file you don’t need.

  1. Return to Storage, and click on Temporary files.

This will display your Downloads and Recycle bin, temporary apps, etc.

Click the Remove button to remove the items you don’t use.

  1. Go back to storage and click the other option.

These are the files Windows could not categorize.

Take a look at each one one-by-one and remove any that are not necessary.

It is not enough to delete the source folders of unwanted apps or games. This could cause problems.

Instead, try the following:

  1. In the Windows search box, type “Control Panel” and click the link to open the app.
  2. Select Uninstall Program from the Programs menu.
  3. Browse through your list of installed programs and select those you don’t want. Then, hit the Uninstall Button.

2. Copy and Paste Files

Here are the steps to transfer files such as photos, videos and music from your C drive to an external drive or another drive on your computer.

  1. Go to the local disk (C:), locate the files, right click on them and choose copy, cut.
  2. Navigate to the destination source and right-click on an empty space. Select and paste.

Not recommended: Do not transfer Program files or the My Documents folder in this manner.

3. Use the Move feature

This is the easiest method, but there’s another way for people who have Windows versions older than 10.

  1. In the Windows search box, type “Windows Explorer” and click on the link to open the program.
  2. Locate the folders or files that you wish to transfer and right-click them.
  3. Select the Location tab in the window. Then, click the Move link.
  4. Click on the destination and hit Apply. Then, hit Confirm.

4. Transfer files using a third-party application

Apps such as the AOMEI Back higher Standard allow you to transfer files and folders between drives C and D.

  1. Install, open and close the app.
  2. Click on Sync then Basic Synchron.
  3. Click on Create Folder to select files from the C drive.
  4. Choose the D drive or another drive to get to the destination.
  5. Click the orange Start Synchronizing button.

5. Move some apps from the C Drive

Moving apps is not as simple as moving files or professional utilities.

The AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro allows you to move apps from Drive C onto another drive, on the same or different hard disk.

  1. The app can be purchased, downloaded, and installed.
  2. Start the app by clicking All Tools in the left menu bar.
  3. To view a complete list of your partitions, select AppMover
  4. Click on the C partition, and then click Next.
  5. Choose the applications that you wish to remove from the list.
  6. Select a destination and click the Move button.
  7. To close the running applications, click OK in the pop-up message.

6. You can allot space from another drive to C Drive

If you have important data on other drives, such as the D drive, but not enough space, you can use AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro to allocate the space from D to C.

  1. You can see all available drives in the AOMEI App.
  2. Right-click the D drive, or any other drive that you wish to allocate, and choose Allocate Space.
  3. You will see a window that allows you to determine how much space and where to allocate it. This is the C drive.
  4. When you’re done hitting OK, click on Apply in the upper left corner.

7. Continue C Drive

Although the D drive was still accessible via the previous method, the extension of the C drive will wipe it and any other drives you are using. It also gives you contiguous unallocated storage space.

This method is best for those who have an empty drive.

  1. In the Windows search bar, type “Disk Manager” and hit Enter.
  2. Right-click the D partition, or any other drives, and select Delete Volume.
  3. To confirm, select Yes in the pop-up warning.
  4. Wait for the process to finish and then right-click the C part.
  5. Select Extend volume.So the Extend Volume Wizard Pops up.
  6. Click Next to select the disks that you wish to remove space from and how many you want to add.
  7. Click Next then End.

Why do people create so many drives?

In the past, to increase their computer’s performance, people created additional drives such as E, F and G.

They could continue this behavior and do the same with their new computers.

Some people also like to organize their PCs by giving each drive a purpose.

One is used for games and apps; one is used for backups. The other one is used for movies, videos and photos.

Always leave extra space on the drive where your operating system or apps are installed.


Similar Articles



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here



Most Popular