Hitfilm devours my hard drive space whenever it's in use for seemingly no reason

ExplosiveTamale Posts: 3 Just Starting Out

Hey all, sorry if this is a redundant question, but I'm really at my wit's end here. Recently, I've been running into the issue of Hitfilm Pro 15 chewing up my hard drive space whenever I open large projects. I'll keep File Explorer open on a separate window, and watch my C: drive storage gradually decrease from ~20 GB of free space as I use the program. Eventually, the drive's capacity reaches 0 bytes of free storage, and Hitfilm crashes. This happens on every single project I open.

I've migrated Hitfilm from my C: drive (128 GB SATA SSD) to a different drive (1TB M.2 PCI-E GEN 4 SSD) in hopes that this would resolve the issue, but nope. The directories for my cache, cache database, snapshots, auto-saves, and pre-renders are all on my 1TB SSD. Nothing even vaguely related to Hitfilm is on my C: drive, and yet it continuously inflates. I'm not using proxies for any of these projects.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


CPU: Ryzen 7 5800X (8 Cores, 16 Threads)

GPU: NVidia GTX 1060 6GB

RAM: 16 GB DDR4 3600 MHz

Mobo: MSI B550 A-PRO


C: drive is a 128 GB SATA SSD

D: drive is a 2TB 7200RPM internal hard drive

E: and F: drives are each 8TB external USB 3.0 hard drives

G: drive is a 3 TB external USB 3.0 hard drive

H: drive is a 1TB M.2 PCI-E GEN 4 SSD

V: drive is a 1TB SATA SSD


  • syndhil
    syndhil Posts: 3 Just Starting Out
    edited January 2021


    Nothing even vaguely related to Hitfilm is on my C: drive

    HitFilm's critical files will always be tied to the C drive, small footprint, not relevant here


    The page file defaults to the C drive. Either:

    a) Upgrade RAM capacity - 16 GB is bare minimum for FHD with no effects, and as you add effects the required capacity goes up. Once you run out of RAM, (~80% +- 10 capacity reached in task manager), it resorts to the page file which is virtual RAM.

    b) Move the page file to a different drive. Control Panel\System and Security\System - Advanced system settings - Advanced - (Performance) Settings - Advanced - Change - Select a different drive, ideally it should be ~2x the amount of RAM, so 32 GB. For you, unless already changed, it'll default to "Automatically managing..." which essentially means it'll use up most of the space on the drive it resides on in order to prevent crashing. Too much - crash, too little - crash. A balanced drive setup significantly alleviates the problem.


    Suggested drive setup:

    C drive - HitFilm, ideally you also want the page file on the C drive to minimize bottlenecks from affecting performance elsewhere, where you need it

    D drive - Export, pre renders (aka proxies), but this one is not active unless told, so it really doesn't matter much.

    E, F, G - Mass media storage not in use for current project, save, etc. USB latency is not fast enough and will create bottlenecks

    H - Media in use, page file

    V - Cache, cache database


    There's no substitute for lack of RAM, so that's where my focus would be if I was in your situation - for starters. RAM is significantly faster than drives, including NVMe, microseconds vs nanoseconds which makes a big difference even if overall bandwidth seemingly appears to be similar or equal, and the fact that M.2 is still serial.

  • TerryS
    TerryS Posts: 127 Enthusiast
    edited January 2021

    @ExplosiveTamale ,

    It sounds like a memory leak to me.

    I believe most or all video editing programs work best when installed on the c-drive. Especially when some core components are tied to the c-drive. There are technical reasons for this I cannot remember and frankly, never tried to figure out.

    Media and cache files should both be stored on separate { Internal fast } drives when possible. I run three 1TB SSD's that work out well for me.

    16GB of RAM is nothing to sneeze at. I run 32 and its great to have overhead. Especially if you edit 4K and do a lot of RAM previews using Particle Effects and other RAM intensive effects.

    However, theres a setting that controls how much RAM is consumed by previews in settings. The default setting should prevent RAM caching to the c-drive.

    I think you need a tech support guy to jump in and help you.

    If it were me I would do a fresh download of the latest version and reinstall to my C-drive. Monitor the C-Drive and see if it starts filling up. Check RAM usage and see if it is indeed full. And caching to disk.

    Probably wouldn't hurt to make sure windows and your drivers are up to date as well {:>)

  • syndhil
    syndhil Posts: 3 Just Starting Out
    edited January 2021


    It sounds like a memory leak to me.

    In what way is this an indication of a memory leak?

    A leak like that is on the programmers end, and would likely be a widespread issue. It's not just a term you throw around since there's always possible that there's other issues with RAM instead.

    I believe most or all video editing programs work best when installed on the c-drive. Especially when some core components are tied to the c-drive. There are technical reasons for this I cannot remember and frankly, never tried to figure out.

    You have to elaborate on this as well. What I can tell you is that I have not seen any evidence of what you're claiming, to be true. But you also say you don't remember or have researched it, so why make that claim in the first place.

    What is true however, is that no matter what, critical files associated with a program will always require some free space on the C drive (or related OS drive, any letter), no matter how small.

    The exception to that are programs built to be portable, e.g plug and play via a USB drive without installing anything on the PC it's running on, meaning it doesn't need to create an entry in the host's registry. Anti-virus and anti-malware tools come to mind.

  • Stargazer54
    Stargazer54 Posts: 3,801 Ambassador
    edited January 2021

    @ExplosiveTamale Could be that you still have some cache related folder filing up in the C:\Users\<your name>\AppData\Local\FXHome directory. Make sure you also clear cache - File, Options, Cache, Delete Media Cache button for manually clear the cache folder.

    Keep an eye on AppData\Local\FXhome folders and monitor growth as you do your startup and see which other folders might be the culprit.

    Generally speaking it is not recommended to move the software itself to a different drive, but moving the temporary folders like Cache is a good idea if you are short on space. Moving the software off the C drive (or dedicated OS drive) can cause other issues.

    But as stated above, if you can't solve it yourself you should put in a support ticket https://fxhome.com/questions/submit

  • TerryS
    TerryS Posts: 127 Enthusiast
    edited January 2021

    A. .........I should have said { Could Be a Memory Leak } If your C-Drive is running out of free space, theres a reason for it.

    If your not using the C-Drive for cache, pre-renders, etc. A memory leak might be caching to the c-drive and crashing the program.I'm surprised Windows hangs in there to be honest.

    B..........When you install a program on another drive.Some folders/functions are still installed on the C-Drive. So your dividing the programs work between 2 drives. I honestly cannot remember if thats what makes it less than ideal? I just know that { Video Editing Programs } should share the same drive as the operating system. For optimum performance.

    Media management is a different issue.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,196 Power User

    This comment is technically unrelated to the issue, but...

    @ExplosiveTamale do you ever use the hibernation function of Windows? Probably not, and, if you do, I'm about to suggest you don't - and disable it.

    Your 128GB OS SSD is pretty tiny... And Windows hibernation uses a dump file on the OS drive that's about the size of your installed RAM. This is the file Windows writes the contents of the RAM to when hibernating. You have 16 GB of RAM which means there's a good chance about 10% (or more) of your C: is taken up by one file (that never gets used).

    I highly suggest you:

    1. Input command in your Start Menu search bar, then select Run as Administrator
    2. Enter powercfg -h off to disable Hibernation (powercfg -h on would restore it).

    This will recover many gigs of data. In my case I recently did this on a laptop with a 256 GB C:/ and 64GB of RAM and got back 60GB of drive space. I immediately realized I should have done that years ago and disabled hibernation on every PC in the house.

  • syndhil
    syndhil Posts: 3 Just Starting Out
    edited January 2021

    Worth noting that hibernation is disabled by default, alongside the extension Fast Boot. OEM's can change this however, typical in laptops but not desktops. I have yet to come across a desktop PC where it's enabled by default, including workstation, which is odd but generally most manufacturers expect you to use an UPS with those.

  • TerryS
    TerryS Posts: 127 Enthusiast

    Well, technically............... The feature has merits.

    If you've got a large enough drive. { Preferably a SSD so the process going into and recovering from the hibernation state is fast }

    A long Hibernation uses less juice. For a laptop, this can be a very good thing.

    When you're ready to go back to work................ all programs are 100% restored to the state they were in pre-hibernation. So it has it's advantages.

    I use a desktop and save my work before taking a break or putting the computer to sleep. Hibernation seems like overkill for a desktop. That may be why its disabled by default.