Even though hard drives are getting much larger and holding more data, we can still run into a situation where we need to free some of that space up. Whether you have filled up the drive to capacity or if you simply want to remove unnecessary files, the following tips will help you regain that precious space on your Windows 7 computer.
Windows 7 includes a tool to remove temporary files and other unnecessary data. This tool is known as Disk Cleanup. To access this easy-to-use program, open up a ‘Computer’ window. You will see a list of your hard drives here, right-click on a drive and select the ‘Properties’ option from the dropdown menu. You will now see a display showing the used and available space for your hard drive. Next to the pie chart click the button labeled as ‘Disk Cleanup.’ Now, you will see a window which show the various types of files you can request to be deleted. Click the selection box next to the files you wish to have removed and then click ‘OK.’
We’ve all installed programs to our computers, used them and then forgot them. If you don’t take the time to remove these programs, they are just taking up valuable hard drive space. It’s important to take a moment to remove such applications to ensure you always have space available for your useful programs.
To quickly find the installed programs on your computer, open the control panel. This can be accomplished by clicking ‘Control Panel’ from the ‘Start’ menu. From the control panel you will click ‘Programs,’ and from the page that opens, click on ‘Programs and Features.’
You will find yourself in a window for uninstalling or changing a program. You will see a list of programs installed to your computer and the space they are using. Take the time to look the list over. If you find any program you don’t need, highlight it and click the ‘Uninstall’ button.
System Restore is a useful feature of Windows. It will allow you to recover your system to a time when it was running stable. The drawback is that this program creates backup points on your hard drive and they can take a lot of space. It is possible to limit the space that is allowed to be used for this purpose, however.
Once again, you will need to open up the control panel. This time, click on ‘System and Security,’ and from the next window click on ‘System.’ On the left side of this window, click on ‘System protection,’ this will open a window which shows your hard drives and whether system protection is enabled. Click on your hard drive and press the ‘Configure’ button. From the new window, you can decide to turn System Protection on or off and you can configure how much space is used for your restore points. Adjust the slider to your desired usage and press ‘OK.’
These tips will give you the hard drive space you’ve been missing out on. This list is not exhaustive by any means. If you still need more space after using these tips, take the time to find a program designed to do a much deeper clean that what Windows Disk Cleanup accomplishes. Be sure to run the disk defragmenter if you remove a large amount of files. This will help to keep your computer running at peak performance. However, if you are using a solid state drive (SSD), this tip should be ignored as these drives function differently from the traditional hard drive.