System Volume Information folder taking up most of free space, how to reclaim it?

Lately I've been running out of free space on one partition, a large one actually, with total space of 800 gigabytes, but my files taking up only approximately 250 gigabytes and the free space was downsizing day by day until it reached 51 gigabytes.

Local Microsoft support wasn't of much help, blaming other software for taking up the space, again...

Did a bit of research and found

The Solution

The Volume Shadow Copy service is the culprit in this case, copying loads of copies of my data to that partition and none of the folders or files inside the System Volume Information folder.

  1. To reclaim the free space open the command prompt window in elevated mode, by pressing the Start button and typing cmd.
  2. Right click on the 'Command Prompt' and choose 'Run as Administrator'.
  3. In the command prompt window copy and paste the following command:
    'vssadmin delete shadows /All'
    (without the single quotes, of course) and press the Enter key.
  4. After this you are asked:
    'Do you really want to delete 9 shadow copies (Y/N): [N]?'
  5. Press 'Y' to continue.
  6. After some time the process finished and the free space should be reclaimed.
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