Dealing With Computer Storage Problems: 8 Ideas to Consider
A lack of free space on a computer’s drive is one of the most common causes behind a poor device computer. Many users fail to recognize the issue and do not pay enough attention to it. Before they know it, there are only a few gigabytes of free storage on a computer left, when the recommended amount is about 15 percent of total disk space.
Add the fact that computers these days are manufactured with SSDs instead of HDDs. The former is superior in performance, but when you compare total available storage, solid-state drives do not provide as much unless you are willing to spend a lot of money on them.
The issue is real, and unless you deal with it, the problem will only snowball and leave you with underwhelming computer performance.
Let’s take a look at some effective ways to free up a computer’s drive space. Hopefully, the ideas below will help you develop a routine so that you can avoid potential storage issues on the device.
Reinstall the Operating System
Right off the bat, if you feel like dealing with individual files will not cut it, you should consider reinstalling the operating system and giving your computer a clean slate.
Keep in mind, though, that data gets wiped, so be sure to back up files you still want to keep after reinstalling the OS.
Get in the Habit of Removing Files Permanently
If you drag files in the Trash Bin or Recycle Bin (depending on what OS you have), be sure to empty them. Otherwise, the files will remain on the computer and continue consuming the drive space.
To avoid the step of emptying the Trash, you can remove computer data permanently using keyboard shortcuts.
For Windows, use the Shift + Delete key combination and confirm the pop-up. A similar process is for macOS, except you need to use the Option + Command + Delete shortcut instead.
Manage Temporary Files
System backups, app caches, logins, and other temporary files are not something you can locate and remove yourself easily. And even if you do, the odds are that you might remove an important file accidentally, which will cause further problems with the computer’s performance.
Instead of tinkering with system settings to access such files and struggling to figure out which ones you should remove, get a cleanup utility tool. Some of the good ones include CleanMyMac X and Disk Doctor.
In addition to working as a means to clean up system junk, such software also has other built-in features, like anti-malware tools, meaning that getting it makes even more sense.
Deal With Localization Data
You might have installed too many applications over time, and some of them came with localization files. It makes no sense to keep data that offer foreign language support for software when you need only the English version, right?
Go through the list of applications on your computer and see whether there are any redundant localization files. If you find them, do not hesitate and remove them from the computer to free up more disk space.
Use External HDDs and USB Flash Sticks
A good disk storage maintenance strategy does not have to revolve around just deleting files from the computer. No, what you can also do is transfer some data to an external HDD or a USB flash drive.
You can access the data by mounting the drive. Either use files directly from the accessory or copy and paste files back to the computer.
Keep an Eye on Email Attachments and Downloads
Overall, email attachments and most downloads do not consume that much space as individual files. Nevertheless, if you are not careful, you may lose track of downloads and let the folder for them grow.
Now and then, you should check what you have downloaded recently and remove files you no longer need. Or, as an alternative, change the download location to the desktop. Having the computer’s desktop as the default download location will allow you to notice these files quickly and remove them once they become useless.
Transfer Files to Cloud Storage
Similar to how you can utilize external HDDs and USB flash sticks as external storage, you can also do that with cloud services.
Dropbox, iCloud, and Google Drive are just a few examples of cloud services that you can use to solve computer drive storage issues.
Most of these services offer a few gigabytes for free, though if you find the available space insufficient, you can upgrade your account and pay a monthly fee to get more space.
Avoid Hoarding Large Media files
Instead of keeping movies, TV shows, and music on a computer, take a more modern approach to media consumption and use streaming services.
Spotify, Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and so on are great alternatives to hoarding media files on your computer. They help with the storage problem and provide you with a convenient way to listen to music and watch movies or TV shows.