If there’s one good thing about the world today, it’s about options and how we get to have quite a few of them. And when it comes to freeing up disk space, there are a few things you can do.
Storage space, particularly in your disk (hard drive), is especially important for your computer to perform its tasks with the utmost efficiency. Imagine having stacks of paper works on your desk at your office. You have to go through a lot just to find the one thing you need that happened to be located beneath all the piles. Wouldn’t it be better if your desk only has one short pile? The same goes for computers. The more files the storage has, the slower and less efficient the turnover of work is. So, what can you do to free up space in yours?
Other than deleting files and uninstalling apps manually, you can also do other things. For one, you can ask for help from Windows’ Disk Cleaner for automatic file deletion.
Windows includes its own Disk Cleaner utility that will do some spring cleaning on your hard drive (in spring or any other season). It targets the temporary files and unneeded junk data that naturally builds up while you’re using your OS.
From File Explorer, select ‘This PC’ and then right-click on the hard drive you want to tidy up. Choose ‘Properties’, then under the General tab click on the ‘Disk Clean-up’ button. After a few minutes of scanning, you should see a list of file types together with how much space can be saved – choose all the ones you’d like to clean up, then click ‘OK’ to confirm.
Or you can use One Drive.
Thanks to the magic of OneDrive – Windows’ built-in cloud syncing service – you can offload some of your files to the cloud and free up space on your local machine.
From Storage (under System in Settings), click your hard drive, then ‘OneDrive’, then choose ‘Manage OneDrive’. Right-click on any file or folder, and select ‘Choose OneDrive folders to sync’.
Untick any folders on the next dialog box and these files will be stored in the cloud only, with the local copies erased (you’ll need to download them again if you need them). For important files we’d recommend making a backup on an external disk drive as well, just to be safe
Need more cloud storage? How about Dropbox or Google Drive?
The same trick we just described on OneDrive works on other cloud storage services like Dropbox and Google Drive as well – once your files have been synced to the cloud, you can delete the local copies. Make sure you don’t just delete the local copies and the cloud copies at the same time, though.
On Dropbox, right-click on the notification area icon, click the cog icon, and then select Preferences. Under the Account heading, click ‘Selective Sync’, and untick the folders you don’t want to keep saved on disk.
In the case of Google Drive, right-click on the notification area icon, then click the menu button (three dots) and choose ‘Preferences’. Under Sync options, select ‘Sync these folders only’, and again you can make your choice.
You can also use third-party tools such as CCleaner.
There are plenty of third-party utilities eager to help you free up some disk space on Windows too, with CCleaner being one of the best and most well-established. It’s available in free and paid-for versions, but even if you don’t want to spend any cash, the free edition is well worth installing.
The application targets temporary files and data that you don’t really need – cached thumbnails, browsing history, Windows log files and so on. Make your choices from the list on the left of the main Cleaner window, then click the Analyse button to see what can be cleaned up. If you’re happy to proceed, click on the ‘Run Cleaner’ button.
These tips can do so much for your disk space and overall storage space. However, if your hard drive encounters problems such as data loss that will affect your work process, a quality data recovery service can help you out.