How to Free Up Space on Windows
Too much clutter on a drive can freeze an app in the middle of an important task, cause severe lag, and prevent you from opening programs. That’s why it’s vital to regularly free up space on your Windows drive to improve its performance and speed.
If you’ve never done this before, you might be confused about what steps to take. Don’t worry, though. In this guide, you’ll see the process of freeing up space on Windows 7, 8, and 10. You’ll also discover how to delete clutter from your OS Drive (usually C:). Let’s get started.
How to Free Up Space on Windows 7, 8, 10
Occasionally freeing up space on Windows is vital to boost performance. You can do several things to ensure there isn’t any unnecessary clutter.
1. Delete Unnecessary Apps
Just because you don’t use an app you installed long ago doesn’t mean it doesn’t clutter the space. That’s why it’s essential to delete any apps you no longer use or that are outdated.
2. Clean the Desktop
Most people neglect their desktop and clutter it with plenty of icons. But this can slow down your computer tremendously. That’s why a desktop should only contain the necessary apps.
3. Empty Recycling Bin
Deleting something from a computer doesn’t disappear from the hard drive unless you clear the recycle bin. So make sure to empty the recycling bin regularly.
How to Free Up Space on Windows 10
If you feel your Windows 10 is cluttered, perhaps it’s time to free up some space. It’s possible to do so by removing files using Storage Sense. Here’s how to do it:
- Click on the “Start menu” on the bottom left part of the screen.
- Scroll down to “Settings.”
- Click on “System.”
- Select “Storage” from the sidebar menu on the left.
- Toggle the button to turn on “Storage Sense.” It’s below “Storage.”
Doing so will allow Windows 10 to remove any unnecessary files automatically. You can also follow the tips mentioned in the section above, such as deleting unneeded files, emptying the recycling bin, and cleaning the desktop.
How to Free Up Space on Windows 8
Is your Windows 8 running low on space? If so, follow the steps below to get rid of unnecessary stuff:
- Click on the magnifying glass from the Start menu. Doing so will open the search window.
- Write “Free.”
- Choose “Free up disc space on this PC.”
- You’ll see a new menu showing how much free space there is on your computer.
- Under “Disc Space,” select “See my app sizes.”
- A list of installed apps will appear along with the amount of space it’s taking.
- Delete all apps you don’t need by selecting the app and clicking on “Uninstall.”
How to Free Up Space on Windows 7
Have you got an older version of Windows? Don’t worry; it’s possible to remove unnecessary clutter and free up space on your Windows 7 with a few clicks:
- Tap on the Start menu and write “Disc Cleanup” in the search box.
- Click on “Disc Cleanup.”
- You’ll see a pop-up window where you can select a drive. It’s best if you choose “C.”
- Hit “OK” to start clearing the drive.
- Wait a few moments before seeing a window showing different files you can remove.
- Tick the box next to those you wish to remove.
- Click on “OK.”
- Confirm by hitting “Delete Files.”
How to Free Up Space from Your C Drive on Windows
The easiest solution for cleaning a C drive on Windows is to use Disc Cleanup. Windows computers already have this program equipped, so you don’t need to download it. Here’s how to use it:
- Click on the Start menu.
- Type “Disc Cleanup.”
- Tap on the icon once you see it.
- Ensure you select the OS drive (usually “C:”).
- Hit “OK.”
- You’ll see a pop-up box with a list of files to delete. Choose which ones you want to remove.
- Tap “OK” and confirm by hitting “Delete Files.”
How to Clean Up Your Windows Desktop
To clean your Windows desktop, check the steps that work for your operating system. Besides that, empty the recycling bin regularly, delete the unwanted apps, and clean the desktop.
You can also try to save as much of the content to OneDrive. This action frees up your computer and ensures its performance.
How to Free Up Space on a Windows Laptop
Freeing up space on a Windows laptop is the same as using a desktop, except laptops generally have less internal drive space. You can assign personal folders to another drive or partition, but the chosen medium must always be available. If you partitioned your laptop drive, you could use another partition, such as “D: Files,” as one example. This process frees up space on the OS partition/drive. The steps will depend on whether you have Windows 7, 8, or 10. Refer to the sections above to see the easiest way to remove files from your Windows laptop.
You can change the default location for saved documents, downloads, music, pictures, and videos using the below steps.
How to Change Default Location for Windows 10 Personal Libraries (Documents, Downloads, Music, etc.)
- Click on the “Start menu.”
- Choose “Settings” or click the “gear icon” on the left.
- Go to “System” and then “Storage.”
- Under “More storage settings,” click on “Change where new content is saved.”
- Choose a new partition or a drive, then click “Apply.”
- When done, close the window.
How to Figure Out What Is Taking Up Space in Windows
When your computer runs low on storage, it might be a good idea to see what is causing the clutter and taking up all that space. This predicament is where “Storage Sense” comes in handy. Here’s how to figure out what takes up the most space on your computer:
- Click on the “Start menu” and scroll to “Settings.”
- Tap on “System” and then “Storage.”
- Under the “Local Disc (C:)” section, you’ll file categories and the amount of space they consume.
- Tap on “Show more categories” to get a complete list.
- To dig deeper, tap “View storage usage on other drives” under “More storage settings.”
- A new window opens, displaying the drives on your computer.
- Click on each drive to see which files take up most of their space.
Cleaning Windows FAQs
How do I temporarily free up storage space?
One of the ways to temporarily free up storage space on your computer is to use “Windows Disc Cleanup.” Doing so removes files containing web pages that slow down your computer. Here’s how to do it:
• Locate the OS drive (usually C:) on your PC and right-click on it.
• Select “Properties.”
• Under “General,” click on “Disc Cleanup.”
• Choose which files you want to delete.
• Confirm by hitting “OK.”
It might also be a good idea to delete cache and cookies from your browser. Too many of these small files can affect the storage space on a computer. Removing cookies and cache is quickly done through the browser. Perform the steps on each browser you have installed. Doing so erases all stored URL entries, saved passwords, custom website settings, browsing history, and more. Some of that data gets resynced once you log back into your Firefox, Edge, or Chrome account.
What Windows files can I delete to free up space?
Disc Cleanup is a handy way to free up storage on your computer. Regardless, many people get confused about which files and folders they can safely remove.
Here’s a list of files that are safe to delete:
• Windows update log files
• Language resource files
• Temporary files
• Downloaded Program Files
How do you increase storage space?
Increasing storage space on a computer requires regular cleanups and maintenance. It’s essential to follow all the steps provided in this guide. However, there are other things a user could do.
For example, consider upgrading your hard drive or using an external one. You can store additional files such as music, movies, videos, or photos that currently take up space on the primary drive. The less data you have on a drive, the faster it can read data, especially on hard drives. A computer will perform much faster when it has less data to dig through.
Another way to increase storage space is by using cloud storage. Not only does this free up space on a computer, but it also keeps files secure if something should happen to the computer.
For Windows users, Google One, Google Drive, or Microsoft One Drive are the most popular options. And the best thing about storing files on a cloud is it’s still possible to access them anytime.
Maintain Your Windows Computer
Computers can store unnecessary files that slow down their performance, cause lags, and freeze programs when you need them the most. Therefore, maintaining a computer and regularly performing disc cleanups is essential in ensuring your machine operates efficiently. Moreover, ensure you remove files from the recycling bin, delete obsolete or unwanted apps, and clear the desktop.
Have you cleared some space on your Windows computer yet? Which steps did you take? How often do you plan to do it? Share with the community in the comments section below; they love to hear other people’s experiences.