Cleaning the hard disk: tips for more disk space and a faster system

BySigismondo Eisenhower 2019-06-20 1368

Whether it's a smartphone, tablet or PC, storage space is quickly becoming tight, especially if you have a lot of photos or music files stored on the device. But with a few tips and tricks, you can clean your hard drive and optimize your entire operating system.

If the hard drive is full, your PC or notebook will usually slow down noticeably. Opening applications and working with the device then quickly becomes a test of patience, because both often only work at a snail's pace. If the storage space becomes tight, you will often not be able to save new files. Then it's time to clean up your computer. Our tips and tricks for cleaning your hard drive will get your PC back up and running quickly.

Clean your hard drive: Data partition and system partition

System files, images, documents ... Over time, the amount of space on your hard drive will decrease. Normally, a hard disk is divided into at least two areas called partitions: a data partition and the system partition. If the data partition is full, no further files such as images or documents can be stored on the device.

If, however, the system partition is full - on most computers this is C: -, this can lead to problems with the PC or notebook. An error message is not always displayed. Often only a professional error analysis will tell you exactly where the problem lies. Your PC SPECIALIST will be happy to do this for you on site.

When is a hard drive full?

Normally, Windows 10 requires about ten gigabytes of free space on the system partition. The situation is different if a major system update is due. Microsoft publishes this twice a year. Then the system quickly needs twice as much free memory to perform the system update without any problems. So it makes sense to clean your hard drive before installing major system updates and make sure you have more disk space.

You can check how much space is still available on the individual hard disk partitions in the Windows 10 settings in the menu item "System" and then "Memory". If only ten percent of the drive is free, the display bar is red.

Depending on the size of the hard disk, however, the disk space can become scarce before the disk space display indicates this in color. This is often a problem, especially with new SSDs with 128 GB storage space. Therefore, it is best to check the available storage space regularly and use our tips on cleaning up your computer.

Using memory optimization

Cleaning up your computer regularly offers you many advantages. Best of all, since Windows 10 Creators Update, you can use Windows 10 Memory Optimizer to clean your hard drive. In the settings of your Windows 10 device, under the menu item "Memory" (see above), you will find detailed information about which files occupy how much memory space on your hard disk. Especially temporary files can become a memory guzzler. As a rule, you can delete them without hesitation.

It is even easier with the memory optimization of Windows 10. You must activate this in the memory settings only by moving the slider. Then you can define in which intervals you want the system to be cleaned automatically. You can choose daily, weekly or monthly.

You can also define which data should be deleted. Memory optimization, for example, regularly deletes temporary files on request. In addition, Windows 10 can also clear the data from the recycle bin and the downloads folder at regular intervals.

Delete file version history

While at first glance it may be useful to save the file version history of your device, in reality old versions of changed files quickly turn out to be a huge memory guzzler. So when you're cleaning up your computer, remember to clear out the file version history.

To do this, go to the Windows 10 Settings menu and select the menu item

"Control Panel" and select "File Version History". In the advanced settings under "Clean versions" you can choose which data you want to delete.

Clean up data media, delete old Windows version

Disk Cleanup also helps with disk cleaning. You can remove thumbnails, error reports, and other unnecessary files to free up disk space. The easiest way to get to Disk Cleanup is by searching. Select the drive to be cleaned and the data to be deleted and the system will do the rest for you.

Especially on devices with small hard disks, old Windows versions and shadow copies take up a lot of storage space. You can usually delete these too without any problems. The corresponding folder windows.old can also be deleted using the Disk Cleanup function. As with any deletion of files, you should make sure that you do not remove any important files. If you are unsure which files you can remove without hesitation, leave the data in question on your computer or ask your PC SPECIALIST for advice.

Clean the hard disk: Move files to the cloud

When your hard drive is full, the best way to increase storage space is to delete unnecessary files, especially large image and video files. You still need all the files stored on your PC or notebook, but still want to clean up your computer? Then you can simply move the location of the files - for example to the cloud.

What the cloud is and what you should look for when choosing a cloud provider, we have explained in the guide The Cloud and the Cloud Definition. Alternatively, you can use an external hard drive to store large files. Your local PC SPECIALIST will be happy to advise you on buying the right USB hard drive.

Deleting unnecessary files

However, you should also clean up your PC by going through your own files and deleting useless files. To check which files take up the most disk space, you can search the files on a hard disk for their size. In Windows Explorer, select a hard disk partition and then enter "size:>100mb" in the search field and press "Enter". All files larger than 100MB will be displayed.

If you prefer it easier, you can also use tools like WinDirStat. This allows you to see how the space on the hard disk is used and thus expose memory wasters. The tool is especially useful for tracking down large image, video and music files.

Also check whether individual files are stored twice. You can delete such duplicates to free up additional storage space. Especially with extensive music collections, the full hard disk can be relieved under certain circumstances.

Delete programs you don't need

Maybe you know the problem: You install different programs that you need to solve a particular task, but never again. These are the programs that take up unnecessary disk space. When cleaning the hard disk, look out for programs and applications that are no longer needed and delete them.

To do this, go to the Windows 10 settings and select "Apps and Features" from the "System" menu. Here all programs installed on your device are clearly sorted by name. To make it easier to delete unneeded programs, you can also use additional tools that arrange the programs according to their frequency of use.

For example, Iobit or CCleaner can be used. With the latter you can search your PC or notebook for any kind of data garbage, uninstall software or even find file duplicates. But be careful when using it: If you delete too much data, you may have problems with the system. In addition, the tool can sometimes become a point of attack for hackers, most recently through spyware.

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