The quickest way to free up disk space on your Windows 7 PC is to run the disk cleanup utility that comes with Windows. If you have become short on hard disk space, here’s the best place to start to free some up.
Sometimes, your PC will actually slow down because you are low on space on your hard disk. Program and system temp files, log files, error reports, duplicate files, and a host of other types of files can clog your available space. When this happens, your computer can have a very hard time running, including finding enough room for all the virtual memory it needs on your disk. Then, when Windows starts to swap memory out to the disk, its actions are curtailed because there is not enough room to hold everything.
You may also run out of room to save work that you have just done, or changes to work that you have added to, such as word processing documents, spreadsheets, and graphic files. Worse, some programs need to create temporary files while you are working and if there is no room on the disk to create such files the programs may crash. Windows itself needs temporary files to run properly, and if there is no room on the disk to do so the operating system may become unreliable or even crash.
The easiest way to quickly free some disk space is to run the disk cleanup utility that comes with Windows. Close all open programs before you do this so that you can delete their temp files. In order to get to this helpful utility, click on the Start button, then on Computer. Find the drive you need to find some space on (probably “C”) and right click on it. In the context menu that appears click on Properties. In the window that comes up next, make sure that you are on the General tab and click on Cleanup.
That will load the disk cleanup option page. If you have admin rights on the computer, you can elect to clean up files for all users. If you do not, you will only be able to clean up your own files. At this point the system will look through your system to see what files it thinks you can safely remove. This may take a while if your disk is large. You will then be presented with a list of files and file types to delete. Generally speaking, you can safely remove the following types of files:
- Temporary Internet files
- Windows error reporting files and dumps, both system and user
- Temporary files
- Program files you have downloaded
- Queued error files, both system and user
If there is any doubt in your mind, DO NOT delete a file or file type. You can’t get them back once they’re gone. If there is a lot of disk space being taken up by files that you tare worried about deleting, perhaps you should consult a friend who is a bit (or a lot) more computer-savvy than you are, to make sure whether or not you should delete them. Once you have selected the files that you want to delete, clicking OK will finish the job of deleting them.