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Hard Drive Clean Up: 7 Ways to Get More Disk Space

Have you maxed out your computer's disk space? Speed up your computer and get more space with these hard drive clean up tips.

Did you know that almost 90% of American households own a computer of some kind? Computers are a huge part of our everyday lives now, and for good reason, as they can make doing pretty much any task that much easier.

With that being said, as great as computers are, sometimes they can be slow and hard to use, making them not worth the hassle for many owners. However, if you know how to perform a hard drive clean up, you can avoid this issue completely, allowing you to use your computer without problems.

In this article, we'll give you 7 tips and tricks that you can use to clean up your computer. We'll also tell you a few common mistakes to avoid, so you don't create a bigger problem in the process.

Hard Drive Clean Up: 7 Ways to Get More Disk Space

1. Declutter Your Desktop
If you're like most computer users, odds are your desktop has acquired a bit of clutter of the years. While having some often-used files and programs on your desktop is okay, having too much junk on your desktop can slow down your computer greatly, which isn't what you want.

When you declutter your desktop, not only will you be speeding up your computer, but you'll also be helping improve your mental health. Just be sure to set aside some time each week to clean up your computer again, that way you can prevent it from getting too messy.

2. Delete Your Old Files
Odds are there are quite a few old files on your computer that you no longer need. If those files aren't being used anymore, they're simply taking up space on your computer and slowing things down. While it might take some time on your part to do, we recommend that you go through your files carefully, deleting anything that you no longer need. Also, before you empty your trash (more on that later), take one more glance through your trash bin to confirm everything you're deleting isn't needed anymore.

3. Clear Out Your Downloads Folder
Are you constantly grabbing things off of the internet and downloading them onto your computer? If the answer is yes, odds are your downloads folder has gotten pretty crowded over time.

The best way to fix this problem? Go through your downloads folder and find everything you want to keep on your computer moving forward. Move those items into a folder, or a place on your computer that makes sense to you, and then delete all the unwanted files you no longer need.

Again, before you empty your trash, do a quick scan to make sure you're not deleting anything you want or need. With that in mind, if you do delete something important, you should be able to re-download it again off the web. 

4. Uninstall Unused Apps
We'll be honest. Files can take up quite a bit of space on your computer, but only when you have hundreds or thousands of them saved at once. One or two applications, on the other hand, can take up a ton of space, and really slow down your computer as a result.

Because of this, it's a good idea to run through the list of installed apps on your computer and delete anything you no longer use. Doing so will help you free up disk space at a much greater rate than deleting old files will.

If you delete an application that you want to use later, all you need to do is re-download it again. That means you don't have to worry about losing an app for good should you decide to uninstall it to save space.

5. Empty Your Trash
We've talked a lot about deleting files and applications during this article, and we've even given you some tips on how to properly empty your trash. With that being said, it's important to note that failure to empty your trash, especially if it's extremely full, can slow down your computer quite a bit.

A pro tip? Set an appointment in your calendar each week to do steps 1 through 5 on this list. That way you can stop on top of your computer's maintenance, allowing it to run the way that you need it for years to come.

6. Compress Large Files
Got tons of large files that you want to keep around? Worried they're taking up too much space? Compress them into a zip file to save space! Most people only think about using zip files when needing to compress something for an email. That strategy works well on your computer, too, allowing you to keep the files you want while saving hard disk space.

7. Know How Much Storage Space You Have
Regardless of what kind of computer you have, it's a good idea to know how much storage space you have available. That way you can plan ahead, as well as decide if you need to invest in any external hard drive solutions to help free up space. Remember, knowing how to manage storage on Mac computers is a bit different than managing storage on PCs. So, make sure you keep your particular computer in mind when making storage-related decisions.

Complete a Hard Drive Clean Up with These Tips
Well, there you have it! Those are 7 tips and tricks you can use to perform a hard drive clean up on your Mac or PC. So, if you're worried that your computer may be getting overcrowded, take some time to implement these ideas to free up some space.

Remember, it's a good idea to set aside some time each week to perform storage maintenance on your computer. That way you can prevent yourself from collecting too many old files or apps you no longer need. Looking for more ways you can get the most out of your computer? Check out our blog!

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