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Create More Storage Space on Your Computer with These 6 Easy Tasks
If you call your computer “Slowpoke,” but your hardware’s not that old, you might be using too much storage space. Packing too much onto a computer can slow it down.
Or if you can’t find the space to download a song, video, or game? Good luck scrambling to figure out where on your C drive you can fit your new media!
Luckily, it’s easy to streamline your storage if you consistently follow these six useful steps.
1. Run cleaning software
When creating more storage space, start by cleaning up your PC or Mac. And no, we don’t mean break out the sponges. We’re talking about cleaning software.
It might seem like you don’t have a lot on your hard drive, but you’d be surprised at how things add up over time. Using software to clean helps you dig into the nooks and crannies where files gather dust.
The easiest way to clean on a PC is to use Disk Cleanup. Search for “Disk Cleanup” in the toolbar, then follow the instructions to free up space on your computer.
Macs are less easy to clean, but on some, you can go to About this Mac > Storage > Manage. This’ll show you all your files so you can manually delete the ones you don’t want or need anymore.
You can also try third-party software for a more automated experience.
Some of the best cleaning software for PCs:
- Iolo System Mechanic
- IObit Advanced SystemCare
- Razer Cortex
And some of the best cleaning software for Macs:
- App Cleaner & Uninstaller
- MacBooster 8
2. Run your antivirus and malware protection software
Did you know viruses can take up storage space on your computer? If your laptop or desktop comes down with something, it could reduce your storage.
The best solution is to run an antivirus or malware protection at least once a week. Luckily, your computer comes with an antivirus pre-installed: Windows Defender for PC and XProtect for your Mac.
3. Delete old files and empty your trash or recycle bin
If you’re done with it and won’t need it again, delete it—and then make sure to empty your digital trash and recycling.
Why empty the trash? “Out of sight, out of mind” doesn’t work well in this case. Files left in your computer’s trash are still taking up space.
Sure, leave files in the trash or recycle bin for a grace period, just in case you have regrets. (You can return them home by right-clicking and selecting Restore or Put Back.) But after a while, it’s time to purge what you’ve discarded.
Your Downloads folder is also a great place to frequently check and empty. If you’re anything like us, you sometimes download files, open or copy them, and never use them again.
4. Save files to the cloud
Saving files to the cloud is an easy way to avoid cluttering your hard drive in the first place.
Use Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, or any other secure virtual storage space. Whichever way you go, not using your hard drive for everything will save tons of precious GB. (It can also save you a lot of trouble in the future if something unexpected happens to your computer.)
Lots of cloud services are free up to a point. When you exceed a certain storage amount, you might need to pay. But trust us, it’s worth it for the convenience.
5. Uninstall unused games and software
If there are games or other software on your computer that you’re not using, consider uninstalling them.
This is a tough one for us! There are some long-untouched apps on our computers that we know we’ll eventually go back to, like our Nancy Drew CD-Rom downloads. We’ll leave those intact so we can jump back into our saved games the next time we crave detective work.
But My Singing Monsters? We haven’t thought about it in ages, and we don’t have an urge to check in. Delete.
If deleting sounds too permanent to you, Microsoft Windows users can opt for archiving. That’ll uninstall the app while leaving all the important files in place. Just go to Settings > Apps > Apps and Features > Archive Apps and toggle the setting on.
There are some downsides to archiving, though. You won’t save as much space on your computer, and you can’t control the setting manually. It’ll only archive apps from the Microsoft Store (nothing from Steam or the world wide web) and only after you’ve neglected them for a while. Sadly, we aren’t sure how long it takes before an app is archived.
We couldn’t find an easy equivalent of archiving with Macs, but if you’re super computer-savvy, you might be able to figure out a way.
6. Close your web browser
We’ve talked about your computer’s long-term storage—what about your short-term storage aka memory aka RAM (Random Access Memory)? Using a lot of RAM at once can slow down your computer’s performance just like overstocked storage will. The typical culprit is browsers.
If you’re like us, you keep multiple browsers, windows, and tabs open at all times. To improve your computer’s memory and speed, you’ll want to close them instead.
That doesn’t mean you have to close your browser every time you use your computer. But if it’s been a week with the same stuff up, it’s time to think about closing.
Remember, if your computer is slow or crowded, it’s easy to create more storage space.
- Clean your computer with software to find all those forgotten files.
- Run an antivirus to get rid of any malware hiding on your computer.
- Delete files and then jettison them from your trash and recycling.
- Save to the cloud instead of to your hard drive.
- Uninstall unused apps so they’ll stop eating your storage.
- Close browsers to improve your RAM.
Doing these tasks regularly will help ensure you always have the room you need.