Running out of space on your main disk is a continuing problem, especially as more and more devices come with solid state drives which tend to be smaller in capacity than traditional hard disk drives. Running out of free space can also cause data recovery issues that can only be solved by a data recovery expert. So what can the user do to free up space?
There are two solutions. Firstly, buy additional storage in the form of external drives, NAS or cloud and archive non-essential files. But before doing this it may be well worth auditing your data and seeing what files are taking up gigabytes of space and are rarely used.
Furthermore, unless your housekeeping is good you are likely to have lots of temporary files littered around the main disk. Downloads, cookies, website history, apps, malware and recycled files can take up a huge amount of space. What’s more, they can slow your system down.
Disk Cleanup in the disk properties window is a great utility. Simply select the files you want to delete and click OK. After this, click the More Options button and use the Clean Up under System Restore and Shadow Copies to delete system restore data. Disk Cleanup doesn’t delete temporary files used by other programs. For example, it won’t clear your Web Browser Cache. Either manually delete these files, or try a tool like CCleaner which cleans junk from a variety of third party programs.
Think about uninstalling applications that consume a lot of space for little return. From the Programs and Features control panel a user can see what applications are installed and how often they are used. Simply uninstall anything that you are not using. If in doubt, simply Google the name of the application and you will quickly find out whether it is an important system file. Duplicate files can take up a huge amount of space. To get rid of these try a tool such as Duplicate Cleaner Pro 4 or DupeGuru.
Once the user is satisfied that all unwanted data has been cleaned up, it is now time for a defragmentation. Defragging rearranges the layout of files on your hard disk for faster access.
Now take a look at your free space. You may well decide that additional storage is not necessary and these simple housekeeping measures have been sufficient in themselves!