Many newer versions of Windows requires more apace to run. Hence Hard drives are getting larger and larger, but somehow they always seem to fill up. This is because of lack of storage management. As storage size increases, hold and attention of user on every item in storage decreases. It is hard to find junk stuff in large storage space if you do not have knowledge of storage management.
Following are ways to free up storage space on Windows:
1. Run Disk Cleanup
Windows includes a built-in utility called Disk Cleanup Utility, that deletes temporary files and other unimportant data. To access it, right-click one of your hard drives in the Computer window and select Properties.
Click on Disk Cleanup button in general tab. Select types of files you want to delete and click OK.
You can also clean up system files. To do this click the Clean up system files button. You can click the ‘More Options’ button and use the ‘Clean Up’ button under ‘System Restore’ and ‘Shadow Copies’ to delete system restore data.
2. Uninstall useless programs
You can uninstall space consuming useless programs to free up space. Following are steps to do this:
On Windows 7 click the Start button. In the search box, type ‘Programs and Features’ and press Enter. Select Programs and Features from the list.
On Windows 8 right-click the Start Screen button at the bottom-left corner of the Desktop. At the top of the menu, click Programs and Features. This gives you a list of installed programs on your computer. Select the program you want to uninstall, right click and click uninstall.
3. Clean Temporary Files
Windows’ Disk Cleanup tool is useful, but it only deletes temporary files used by system programs. For example, it won’t clear Firefox or Chrome browser caches. To clean up junk in all apps you can use third party softwares like CCleaner, 360 Security.
4. Find and remove duplicate files
You can use duplicate file finder tool to find duplicate files in hard drive e.g. Duplicate Cleaner Pro.
Best to store unique files only to save space.
5. Reduce space used for system recovery.
Windows system restore feature requires huge space. In some computers dedicated drive is used for this feature. Windows stores previous versions of system files for system restore. If you do not need such past recovery images you can terminate this feature and can free up lot of space. Alternatively you can only reduce space occupied by this feature.
6. Disable hibernation
Hibernation saves RAM and Power but not hard disk space. To free up RAM it copies all content of RAM to hard drive. You can disable hibernation and use sleep mode instead. But sleep mode uses more RAM and power than Hibernation. So,decide what is important for you to save.
7. Windows Update Clean Up
The Windows Update feature maintains a cache of files that can fill up with superfluous items. The folder will be regenerated when you restart the computer but without some of the unnecessary files. To clean out the Windows Update folder:
Click the Start menu. In the search field, type ‘services.msc’ and press Enter. This opens a dialog box which lists the services currently running on your system. From the list, click ‘Background Intelligent Transfer Service’, right-click, and select ‘Stop’. Further down the list, click ‘Windows Update’, right-click, and select ‘Stop’.Then go to the C:\Windows folder, find the ‘Software Distribution’ folder and delete it. When a prompt appears that states “You’ll need to provide administrator permission to delete this folder” click ‘Continue’.
Press the Windows key+R at the to open the Run dialog box. Type ‘cleanmgr’ into the text field and click Okay. Under the ‘Disk Cleanup’ tab, if there is an option for Windows Update Cleanup check the box next to it and press Okay. If Windows Update Cleanup isn’t in the list, click the ‘Clean up system files’ button on the bottom left. In the following dialog box, select your primary drive on the dropdown menu, typically the C: drive and click Okay. After the scan, the Disk Cleanup menu will open again. This time ‘Windows Update Cleanup: will appear on the list of Files to delete. Check the box next to ‘Windows Update Cleanup’ and click ‘Okay’.