How-to Manage space on Windows 10

 

kristina_email-stampWritten by Kristina Grech
Customer Success

Sep 7 – (5 min read)

New or old, your PC is bound to get bogged down with junk, and other unnecessary files. Admittedly, I think we all get a bit over excited with our machines, stuffing them like turkeys with the latest applications and software, along with everything we love and need including photos, movies, music, downloads and the like.

Sadly, your computer only has a limited amount of space to store all your favorite things. Sooner or later this space will eventually run out, and you’ll be left with little to no space at all. This is no leaky bucket, inversely the more you add to it, the slower and more cluttered it becomes.

Unnecessary files such as duplicates and temporary files tend to hijack your device for much longer than actually needed. Unless you remove these files yourself, or find a software application to get rid of them for you, they will keep robbing you of your precious hard disk space. Just think of all the things you could do with that extra space…plenty of room for that new series you’re watching, more soundtracks to add to your music collection, another photo album, or a new application – the world’s your oyster!

You’ll be glad to hear that managing your PC storage space is not rocket science! You can easily do this yourself from the comfort of your own home, and at no cost.

But how?

Here’s 5 ways to free more disk space:

  1. Check your PC’s current space status
  2. Uninstall unused and unnecessary applications
  3. Move files to another drive
  4. Manage temporary files
  5. Manage multimedia files and eliminate duplicates

 

  1. Check your PC’s current space status

Unlike other versions of Windows, Windows 10 provides you with real information and metrics that you can actually use, along with a range of tools that show you what’s occupying space on your computer’s hard drive. You can easily monitor PC space by accessing the storage settings on your desktop like so:

  • First open File Explorer. If you want to be a bit more tech savvy and master keyboard shortcuts press Windows key + E
  • From the left pane, select This PC
  • If you look under the Windows (C:) drive you’ll see the amount of free space on your hard disk.

Once you have a better idea of what’s occupying your hard disk space you’ll be able to delete all the wasteful files and folders that are shrinking your machine. To delete such files simply:

  • Go back to the Settings app: Start > Settings, or you can use this shortcut Windows + I
  • Click on the System group
  • Click Storage. This tab allows you to view your system drive, as well as other drives or partitions on your system. Click on any one to see what’s consuming space and how much it’s taking up.
  • Select Delete to remove unwanted files and folders.

 

  1. Uninstall unused and unnecessary applications

Software applications can take up lots of space on your hard drive, especially if you have limited storage on your computer. For this reason, uninstalling unused and unnecessary applications is a good idea. Only remove apps you recognize though, so as to avoid removing programs you might actually need in the future! But don’t fret, there are some really important apps which cannot be uninstalled as they are inbuilt and part of your computer’s factory settings, and therefore your system won’t allow you to delete them. Phew!

Follow the next steps to Uninstall:

  • Before you start off removing apps, first take a look at the Apps and Games category. To get there, go on Start > Apps and Games.  Here you have the ability to search for apps, sort them by size or date, and quickly uninstall unwanted apps. To see what your options are for each application, simply select Manage Option Features.
  • To uninstall right-click on the application and select Uninstall. If it doesn’t give you the option to uninstall in the drop down menu, the app may be a default app.

 

  1. Move files to another drive

If you have photos, music, movies, games, or other files that you want to keep but don’t access very often you can always save them to another drive. Such as an external hard drive, or USB drive. By using this method you will still be able to use them when the drive is connected, with the added bonus that they won’t be taking up any space on your PC.

To transfer files follow these instructions:  

  • First connect the removable media device to your PC.
  • Open File Explorer located in the taskbar and find the files you want to transfer.
  • Select the files, go to the Home tab, and then select Move To > Choose location.
  • Select your device from the list, and click Move.

Better yet, alternatively you can use a Cloud service to store your files and benefit from easy access from any device at any time. You can use cloud services like Music Cloud for your favourite jams, Google Drive for files and documents, Google Photos app to store photos, create albums and so on.

 

  1. Manage temporary files

Temporary files are files that are automatically created by Windows or internet browsers to temporarily contain information while new files are being made. Once these files have done their job, they are no longer needed and can therefore be deleted. If not removed, these files will eventually accumulate and clutter your hard drive. To monitor or remove these files;

  • Open File Explorer > This PC > Temporary Files. Here you have the option to do 2 things, you can manage files or delete them.  
  • To manage files select Manage Temporary Files.
  • From This PC you have the option to manage downloads and anything that’s in the recycle bin.
  • To delete any of these files simply select the file you want to delete and click Delete.

 

  1. Manage multimedia files and eliminate duplicates

Organize your space better by taking control of all your apps, documents, music, pictures and videos.

  • Go on Start > Settings > Storage scroll down to the bottom. Here you will be able to change the default save locations to any drive or partition on your system. Like this you’ll always find what you’re looking for.

Besides organizing your space better, you can also delete duplicate files. These are files that are identical, or seemingly identical files that are saved on your computer. Duplicate files aren’t needed, they just complicate life and take up large chunks of space. There are two ways to manually search for duplicates, and both take time, usually turning out to be quite tedious… Which probably explains why many of us end up with countless duplicates!

  • You can either go through all files, deleting as you go along or try searching for them; Open Search and type the name of the file you suspect has been duplicated.
  • Or you can check from the toolbar, click Views > Details scroll down the list looking for matching filenames and extensions. Once you find files that match, compare dates in the Date Modified column and if their dates are the same, the likelihood is that the files are probably duplicates.
  • Select the file you want to remove by pressing Delete. Before deleting, first take a look at the files and compare content to make sure you’re deleting the correct version.

 

For those who’d rather enjoy using disk space and not having to figure it out…

If right now you’re thinking you have better things to do with your time than trying to get your head around space management – don’t worry – you’re not alone! Luckily, there were others who felt just like that and created fantastic applications that can do the heavy lifting for you.

We too have something amazing coming up that will surely help with this, signup to our early access Beta list to join our exclusive group –>  https://ellp.com 

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