Stop Windows Media Center from hogging your hard drive

Windows' DVR features can eat up your entire hard drive. But there's a simple way to limit storage availability.

As I've mentioned in the past, I'm a big fan of the Windows Media Center software that comes baked into most versions of Vista and Windows 7.

Specifically, I use it in conjunction with a TV tuner (four of them, actually) to turn my PC into a DVR--one that rivals TiVo, in my humble opinion.

Just one problem: If you use Windows Media Center to record TV shows, it can consume almost your entire hard drive.

For example, suppose you configure it to record 30 Rock, The Office, Mad Men, and your other favorite shows. By default, WMC records an unlimited number of episodes, and if a few weeks go before you're able to sit down and watch (that's what a DVR is for, right?), you may end up with a hard drive that's filled to the brim with TV--leaving you little or no room for anything else.

The solution is to limit the amount of space WMC can claim for TV recording. Here's how:

1. Start Windows Media Center.

2. Scroll down to Tasks, then over to Settings and click it (or press Enter).

3. Choose Recorder, and then Recorder Storage. (Note that these options appear only if you have a TV tuner installed and configured.)

4. Use the "minus" arrow next to Maximum TV limit to decrease the storage (in 25GB increments) to the amount you want to allow WMC.

5. Click Save to finish the operation.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags media centre pcsdigital television

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Rick Broida

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?