Steps to Free up Computer Space

Cleaning your computer is more than just emptying the trash. To free up space, you have to delete unnecessary files from the hard drive. We'll tell you how to do it quickly and, above all, simply.
Steps to Free up Computer Space

Last update: 21 June, 2021

Every single day, you store files and applications on the computer until the machine asks for a break. You need to free up computer space for optimal performance.

Although it may seem complicated, it isn’t a task that should be left to a computer expert. To free up some space, you must decongest the hard disk, that is, the unit that stores all the information.

If this is your first time, you have come to the right tutorial because we’ll explain, in a detailed and simple way, how to gain more storage capacity.

Steps to free up computer space

There are several ways to free up space on your computer, even before you get the message alerting you that there is not enough space available. Here are some ways to free up space on a computer running the Windows® operating system.

1. File analysis and selection

With this option, you will see in the list the data that possibly you don’t need and should be deleted. Follow these indications:

  • Step 1: Open “My Computer”, right-click on the disk icon, and then click on “Properties”.
  • Step 2: a menu will appear in which you will press the option “Clean up”. It immediately starts a scan to list what you can delete.
  • Step 3: check only the files you don’t need and agree to let the computer delete them.

Note that, depending on the installed version of Windows®, you may find a tab called “More options” or another one called “Clean up system files”.

A woman on a computer
Our computers store a lot of files, but they can become cluttered and slow.

2. Instant restore

This consists of creating restore points based on precise dates and times at which data is recorded. Its objective is to return the system to a specific point in time without losing the information saved until then.

It’s accomplished with the following instructions:

  • Step 1: Go to “Start” and look in the menu for “Create a restore point”.
  • Step 2: Click on the “System Protection” tab, which you should have previously enabled.
  • Step 3: Select the drive on which you want to free up space and then click the “Configure” button to see the percentage of usage per point.

In addition, a menu will offer “Delete all restore points on this drive”. You can then create a new one.

3. Uninstall programs

This alternative is to remove programs from the hard drive but through a more specific path.

  • Step 1: Via the “Start” button on the desktop, go to “Settings” and then go to “Applications”. All the applications installed on the computer will be sorted.
  • Step 2: Select the application to be removed and click “Uninstall”.

4. Careful if you work with iOS ®

Those who work with MAC ® devices have to use the “Manage storage” menu that offers the options “Save to iCloud ®, “Optimize storage”, “Empty Trash automatically” and “Reduce clutter”.

Tips to free up computer space

In a moment of despair to gain space, your first thought will probably be to it delete what you have in the “Trash”. If this still isn’t enough, take note of the following tips.

1. Archive in the cloud

File hosting services such as OneDrive ® or Drive ® are useful to avoid cluttering your PC. The good thing is that they’re available for Android ®, PC ®, iOS ®, and Mac ®.

2. Eliminate replicas

Your computer likely has several duplicate files, adding weight to the hard drive. There are applications to get rid of them, either you unintentionally replicated them or the programs you use took care of it.

VisiPics ® and Duplicate File Finder ® are some of the tools that scan and detect duplicate photos and folders.

3. Activate the Disk cleanup function

It’s a space cleaner integrated into Windows ®. It eliminates the files product of memory errors, the temporary ones, and the updates already installed of the operating system.

4. Deactivate the “hibernate” mode

Many people use this option because it allows them to turn off the computer and that, when turning it on, it’s as the previous session. But there’s a problem: before hibernating, drivers and junk files are stored, slowing down the system.

5. Partition the disk

A hard disk can have several partitions, in other words, independent units that accumulate information. How to make a partition? Partition the disk to distribute files or applications in different sections.

6. Use a portable disk

These are external storage devices that you can move from one place to another, even using them in several computers with all the information you store. There are different capacities.

7. Delete repeated songs

Just as you delete duplicate photos and documents, you can do the same with the repeated songs generated by some music playback programs. Similarity ® is one of the most popular applications for this purpose.

Remember what you shouldn’t remove!

A girl on a computer
Games children play on computers leave records of usage and scores.

Before freeing up computer space, the operating system will always ask if you’re sure you want to do it. It does this because there are types of files that you shouldn’t delete. These are the following:

  • Temporary internet files: If you remove them from the computer you’ll lose the browsing history that you might see again offline.
  • Game statistics: Who wants to lose the record of their achievements? As superficial as it may seem, we all like to see the scores we achieved playing games. And if you delete them you’ll have to start from scratch.
  • Thumbnails: These are the automatic guide created when you open folders with images, which are indexed and displayed as thumbnails. When you enter the folder again, it won’t take long to show the small preview.
  • ChkDsk: They’re generated every time there’s a revision of the hard disk and external memory. ChkDsk files have names like FOUND.001, FOUND.002, and so on. They’re system files and if you delete them it’s possible that a document or application may not open or may be damaged.

Why is it important to free up computer space?

Remember that a computer needs maintenance. It’s the way to optimize its functions. Freeing up space is a method to collaborate with its efficiency.

If during the process you have problems, don’t hesitate to ask a computer technician for assistance.

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