Remember decades ago, when we were still talking in terms of MBs and each byte was worth a fortune?
Those days are now long gone, stuffed away in the Recycle Bin of history. Now, the largest consumer HDDs could hold up to 16 TB and they’re getting cheaper each day!
And as you’ve probably figured out, inversely proportional to the increasing capacity of HDDs is their cost. In 1956, one MB cost about $10,000. Today, one MB is 0.00003 cents (yep, that’s four zeroes after the decimal point.)
However, directly proportional to the growth of computer storage space are the ever increasing file sizes. Nowadays, we have high-resolution photos, lossless audio files, HD and 4K videos, not to mention the countless applications we can install on our PCs. These days, it’s funny to think that 1TB drives are now considered too small.
Combine these huge file sizes with the growing popularity of SSD drives and Windows 10 mobile devices, all of which still have limited storage sizes, and you’ll most likely run out of disk space in no time.
When this happens, don’t panic. Before you delete priceless files like your personal photos and videos, here are five Windows 10 tricks you can try to squeeze a bit of breathing space on your gadget.
Use Storage Sense to remove unused files
Storage Sense is a handy feature in Windows 10 that can automatically delete files that you don’t need. This data includes temporary files, recycle bin data, installation files and previous versions of Windows. It’s the first tool you should try if your hard drive space is running thin.
Here’s how you free up space with Storage Sense:
- Open Settings >> System >> Storage.
- Now look for the Storage Sense section then click on “Change how we free up space.”
- Here, you can toggle the different types of files that will be automatically deleted:
- Delete temporary files that my apps aren’t using.
- Delete files that have been in the recycle bin for over 30 days.
- Delete files in the Downloads folder that haven’t changed in 30 days.
- Delete previous versions of Windows (if available).
Use Disk Cleanup
Disk Cleanup is the classic Windows tool for freeing up storage space. Similar to Storage Sense, this tool analyzes your drive for files that you may no longer need. This includes temporary internet files, downloaded program files, recycle bin data and thumbnails.
Use OneDrive’s new Files On-Demand feature
One new feature in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is OneDrive Files On-Demand. This feature will be perfect for anyone who needs access to their files and folders on the go since everything will be available even if you haven’t synced your device to your computer in a while.
It is also useful for saving drive space since you can use Files-on-Demand to upload your files to OneDrive then download them as you go.
Move apps and games to an external drive
Of course, the best way to free up space on your main Windows drive is to get an external drive then move all your documents, downloads, videos, music, and photos to it.
Better yet, you can also move most apps and games to the external storage.
Command prompt utilities
For advanced users, here are two Windows command prompts you can try.
Turn off Hibernate
Hibernating your PC when it’s not in use is convenient but it also takes up hard drive space. To turn off your Windows PC’s hibernation feature, try this:
Search for Command Prompt, right-click on the best match then select “Run as administrator.”
- Type this command >> powercfg /hibernate off.
- Press enter.