There are so many applications and files to download these days that even the most high capacity hard drives eventually run out of space. The situation is likely to surface sooner if your computer has a solid-state drive or SSD. Despite the superior speed and performance, an SSD does not provide as much space as traditional mechanical drives, in the same price bracket. Though purchasing an external hard drive is a viable solution to get additional storage space, it is a notable expense. Thankfully, there are a number of effective ways to free up some space on your existing hard drive that won’t cost a thing. In this post, we have listed five of them.
Note: If you are unsure of any of the methods discussed here, it is advisable to consult a reputed in-home computer repair service firm with professional expertise.
1. Search and Delete Duplicate Files
To find duplicate files on your hard drive, you can use a number of tools, such as VisiPics, Duplicate File Finder, and Digital Volcano’s Duplicate Cleaner. In addition, dupeGuru is another free application that’ll help you locate and get rid of duplicate files. It comes with other variants such as dupeGuru Music Edition and dupeGuru Picture Edition. These programs don’t support installations of any toolbars and other junkware that usually clutter the system.
2. Use the “Disk Cleanup” Option
“Disk Cleanup” is a built-in tool in Windows to remove junk files. Simply right click on the disk you wish to clean and go to its ‘Properties’. Then, click ‘Disk Cleanup’ under the ‘General’ tab, and select all temporary, log, recycle bin, and other unwanted files, and click ‘OK’. In addition, you can also delete system files by clicking on ‘Clean up system files’, under the ‘More Options’ and clicking on ‘Clean up’ under the ‘System Restore and Shadow Copies’. While initiating disk cleanup, however, you won’t be able to use old system restore points.
3. Use Free Disk Analysis Tools
Similar to the tools that help find duplicate files, there are free tools to analyze the total disk space in your hard drive. Hard Disk Analysis Programs display which files and folders are eating up maximum space. Some of the free apps that analyze the disk space on your hard drive include SpaceSniffer, TreeSize Free, Disktective, and DiskSavvy. In addition, you can also use WinDirStat as it is both comprehensive and user-friendly. While freeing up hard disk space using any tool, however, ensure that you delete only personal data and not any system files.
4. Reduce the Space allocated to System Restore
Every Windows system has the option of ‘Restore System’, which allows users to retrieve files from an earlier point in time. It works by creating restore points, which are different dates and times when your system backed up certain files in the system. Reduce this space for backing up files to free up space on the hard disk. When you do this, the system will automatically delete the older restore points to make space for the new ones. Alternately, you can manually delete the older restore points, except for the last one, to free up some space on the hard disk.
Steps to reduce the space allocated to system restore:
Windows 7: Right click on ‘Computer’ >> Go to ‘Properties’ >> Click ‘System Protection’ >> Go to ‘Configure’ where you can change restore settings, manage disk space, and delete restore points.
Windows 8/8.1: Right click on ‘This PC’ >> Go to ‘Properties’ >> Click ‘System Protection’ >> Go to ‘Configure,’ and follow the same process as above.
5. Get Rid of Bloatware
Bloatware is any unwanted and useless application that eats up your disk space. These days, you can find bloatware on the new PCs as well in the form of preloaded software. The easiest way to get rid of bloatware in Windows is to click Settings >> Control Panel and hit the tab Uninstall Programs. Here click the Size tab to check which applications are using the maximum space. Delete the ones you don’t use to add some free space to your hard disk.
PCs and laptops have become the digital vault of important data, including documents, images, movies, games, and much more. Despite daily usage, we tend to forget to clean up our systems, which is essential for their seamless performance. The methods discussed in this post can help you clean up your system to a large extent and enjoy a fast computing experience. If they don’t help, you can contact our in-home computer repair support available around-the-clock. Simply call 817-915-0111, and one of our IT consultants will be happy to help.