Top 10 Tips To Free Up Hard Drive Space
On every computer the hard disk is the principle storage device. Everything from the Operating System to the programs and applications installed are held here. Even those applications which are loaded from other storage devices such as floppy disks or CDs, all use up space on the hard drive to store some information and for processing.
To keep as much free space as possible and to keep your PC running smoothly it’s important to keep the hard disk clean and free of unnecessary files and folders. If you have too much data stored on your hard disk such as lots of programs you never use, it will take your system longer than necessary to locate the files it is looking for. If your computer is noticeably lagging, it may be time to clean up your hard drive.
To check to see what how much free space there is on your hard drive, go to My Computer. Right click on the drive you primarily use for storage (usually the C drive) and select Properties.
If you need to free up space or just want to give your hard drive a spring clean, follow the steps outlined below – the top 10 tips to free up hard disk space.
1. REMOVE UNNECESSARY DATA FROM THE HARD DRIVE.
The software for doing this is provided on your Windows system. To access it go to Start – All Programs – Accessories – System Tools – Disk Cleanup. Choose which drive you want cleaned. The program will carry out the task automatically, locating any files which can be safely removed and will prompt you for permission to delete them.
2. REARRANGE DATA ON THE HARD DISK.
Again, the software to carry out this task is provided free of charge with your Windows Operating System. It can be located at Start – All Programs – Accessories – System Tools – Disk Defragmenter. Select which drive you wish to defrag. This will automatically shuffle the files stored on the hard drive to make them easier for the system to access, speeding up the processing time for your PC.
3. DELETE ANY UNNECESSARY PROGRAMS
This is one of the best ways of creating more space on your hard drive. It is essential however, that you carry this out properly to ensure complete removal of all files associated with the program. In the Control Panel, choose the option to Add or Remove Programs. A list will be generated of all programs currently installed on your PC. Highlight each one in turn that you wish to remove. Be careful with this task so as not to delete any program which may be necessary for the Operating System to function.
4. INVEST IN AN EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE
This is one way of creating a lot more space for storage. It may not be practical to use it for main storage but is a good alternative for storing applications which are only used occasionally. It’s also useful for keeping back ups of your data.
5. ZIP UP YOUR DATA
Zip files are an advanced compression technique which will reduce the data contained within them to one third of its original size. Files and folders which you rarely use but do not want to delete are ideal to store in zipped files.
6. SAVE FILES TO DISK
Save files which are only used occasionally to removable disks. These can be floppy disks, CDs, or DVDs. They won’t hold as much information as your hard drive but you can increase storage by zipping files before saving them.
7. TRANSFER MUSIC FILES
Music files can be huge in size and take up valuable space on your hard drive. Mp3, wma and other music file formats are best stored on other storage media or devices if hard drive space is at a premium.
8. TIDY UP YOUR DESKTOP
If you have too many shortcut icons plastered on your desktop this can be an eyesore. Remove any unnecessary ones, access programs through All Programs instead and store any pictures or other files in their relevant folders.
9. USE BOOKMARKS
Use your bookmark or favorites folder to hold the URLs of your most visited websites. This saves time searching for them.
10. KEEP FOLDERS NEAT AND TIDY
Keep folders such as My Documents, My Pictures and My Music neat and organized. Delete any information or files not needed and create sub folders to manage data stored within each folder.