How to free up disk space?

Sooner or later every computer user comes upon the need to free up their disk space: you get error messages when trying to install new software, programs crash, Windows performance slows down etc. Here are some tips for dealing with such situation.

First of all, of course, you should look for the data you don’t need anymore, and delete it. Pay special attention to the large files such as video and music.
Don’t forget to empty your Recycle Bin – files contained in there are not completely gone from your hard drive and still take up some space. Remember that in Windows there is a Disk Clean-Up Wizard which can make cleaning up easier. Delete the programs you no longer use – Add/Remove programs tool can be of great help here.

The next step in freeing up disk space is getting rid of Temporary Internet Files and Temp folders – there is no limit to the useless data stored there.

Also consider turning off Hibernation and (less recommended) System Restore options – those can occupy gigabytes of disk space. If using Outlook or Outlook Express, compact your Email folders from time to time.

There are may be other files and folders occupying a lot of your disk space. Without additional software it’s hard to detect which ones, however. Consider installing some reliable utility that analyzes drive contents (file and folder sizes, etc.) and use it to find your largest space consumers. For instance, ActiveSMART. It helps to find and delete all those big files and folders which eat up your disk space.

Free up disk space with ActiveSMART

Screenshot of ActiveSMART analyzing the disk space

Then you can effectively free up disk space by deleting large files you don’t need or moving them to some external storage device.