Hard drives are getting larger and larger, but somehow we always seem to have not enough to fill up. This is even more true if you’re using a solid-state drive (SSD), which offers much less hard drive space than traditional mechanical hard drives.
If you want more of hard drive space, you can try these tips which will help you free up space for important files and programs by removing the unimportant junk cluttering up your hard disk
Run Disk Cleanup
Windows includes a built-in tool that deletes temporary files and other unimportant data. To access it, right-click one of your hard drives in the Computer window and select Properties.
Click the Disk Cleanup button in the disk properties window.
Select the types of files you want to delete and click OK. This includes temporary files, log files, files in your recycle bin, and other unimportant files.
You can also clean up system files, which don’t appear in the list here. Click the Clean up system files button if you also want to delete system files
After you do, you can click the More Options button and use the Clean up button under System Restore and Shadow Copies to delete system restore data. This button deletes all but the most recent restore point, so ensure your computer is working properly before using it – you won’t be able to use older system restore points.
Uninstall Space occupying Applications
Uninstalling programs will free up space, but some programs use very little space. From the Programs and Features control panel, you can click the Size column to see just how much space each program installed on your computer is using.
If you don’t see this column, click the options button at the top right corner of the list and select the Details view. Note that this isn’t always accurate – some programs don’t report the amount of space they use. A program may be using a lot of space but may not have any information in its Size column.
Analyze Disk Space
To find out exactly what is using space on your hard drive, you can use a hard disk analysis program. These applications scan your hard drive and display exactly which files and folders are taking up the most space. You can try WinDirStat.
After scanning your system, WinDirStat shows you exactly which folders, file types, and files are using the most space. Ensure you don’t delete any important system files – only delete personal data files. If you see a program’s folder in the Program Files folder using a large amount of space, you can uninstall that program – WinDirStat can tell you just how much space a program is using, even if the Programs and Features Control Panel doesn’t.
Clean Temporary Files
Windows’ Disk Cleanup tool is useful, but it doesn’t delete temporary files used by other programs. For example, it won’t clear Firefox or Chrome browser caches, which can use gigabytes of hard disk space. For more aggressive temporary and junk file cleaning, try CCleaner. CCleaner cleans junk files from a variety of third-party programs and also cleans up Windows files that Disk Cleanup won’t touch.
Find Duplicate Files
You can use a duplicate-file-finder application to scan your hard drive for duplicate files, which are unnecessary and can be deleted. We’ve covered using VisiPics to banish duplicate images. If you want a tool that also checks for other types of duplicate files, try dupeGuru– the free version can only delete or move up to ten files at once, but it will show you what duplicate files are cluttering up your hard drive.
Reduce the Amount of Space Used for System Restore
If System Restore is eating up a lot of hard drive space for restore points, you can reduce the amount of hard disk space allocated to System Restore.