It’s something that happens to everyone eventually when you’ve been using the same computer for awhile: low disk space. For users this is annoying because it means that your computer’s hard drive is getting to the point where it’s warning you about every new piece of data that you’re trying to load on it. For IT Help Desk folks (AKA us at Upward Technology) it’s a big red flag that a PC is about to start having some on-going and re-occurring issues. The silver lining here though; is that it’s relatively easy for just about anyone to free up disk space on a computer. And here are the top ways you can do so. We recommend that you go through all of them to maximize space are your hard drive:
Run Disk Cleanup
1.) Click the start menu and either search or click Control Panel, type Admin in the Search box, tap or click Administrative Tools, and then double-tap or double-click Disk Cleanup.
2.) If prompted, tap or click the drive that you want to clean up, and then tap or click OK.
3.) In the Disk Cleanup dialog box in the Description section, tap or click Clean up system files. You might be asked for an admin password or to confirm your choice.
4.) If prompted, tap or click the drive that you want to clean up, and then tap or click OK.
5.)In the Disk Cleanup dialog box, on the Disk Cleanup tab, select the check boxes for the file types that you want to delete, and then tap or click OK.
6.) In the message that appears, tap or click Delete files.
Move data to network or cloud resources
Most clients that we work have either their own servers that they use for data storage or have moved to storing and backing up their data via cloud storage. It is highly recommended that you move all company data (documents, pictures, videos, spreadsheets, .PDFs etc) to a secure network location such as your personal U:drive, company share drive, or cloud file storage. It is especially recommended that you do this for files that are on your desktop and also files you keep in your ‘my documents folder’. Another good place to check is your downloads folder to see what in there you need to keep and what you can just move directly to the trash.
Need help setting up this kind of infrastructure for your company? Contact Upward today! We have a ton of solutions to show you. Are you an existing Upward client and you need to know where best to move your files? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
You should be able to just drag and drop all files from the local location to the network location but if for some reason the data is only copied, verify for yourself that the files are where you want them, and then go ahead and move the first set to the recycling bin and then empty it. You’ll be surprised about how much disk space this will clear up for you.
Uninstall desktop apps you don’t need anymore in Programs and Features
1.) The easiest way to get to this feature is to search for “Uninstall programs” in the Start Menu.
2.) This will bring up all of the programs that are currently installed on your PC. Hopefully you don’t have anything on your computer that you don’t use. But give it a cursory glance. See something that you know is an old program that you no longer use? Highlight and uninstall it to free up disk space.
Uninstall Windows Store Apps you no longer use/need (applies to Windows 8 through 10)
You can also uninstall Store apps you don’t want anymore.
Click the start menu, search ‘Settings’ and then click it to change PC settings.
Tap or click Search and apps, and then tap or click App sizes to see how much space each app is taking on the local drive.
Once you locate an app you want to uninstall, tap or click the app, and then tap or click Uninstall.
If you have photos, music, videos, or other files that you want to keep but don’t necessarily want on your PC (personal items perhaps?), consider saving them to removable media, such as an external drive, USB drive, DVD, or cloud storage. You’ll still be able to view those files as long as your PC is connected to the removable media, but they won’t take up space on your PC. For more info, see Copy or move files and folders. Also here’s a good trick on seeing what is taking up the most space on your PC:
Click on the Windows Button and search This PC. Click it.
In the Search This PC box in the upper-right, enter size:huge.
Tap or click the View menu, tap or click Sort by, and then tap or click Size. The largest files display at the top.
Once you locate a file you want to move (or delete), right-click the file and then tap or click send-to (your external media) or Delete.