Is your Windows 10 PC full? It’s not the end of the world! It doesn’t mean you have to buy a new PC, or even delete precious pictures or games.
In fact, Windows 10 makes it easier to clear space than ever before. Today, we’re teaching you how to quickly free up space in your Windows 10 PC using easy tips and settings.
Check What’s Clogging Up Space
Windows 10 has a great way to look at storage settings in your PC. Just open the Start menu and type Storage into Cortana (or go to Settings > System > Storage).
Click on your main hard drive at the top of the window, then view a breakdown of the different files on that drive and how much storage space they take up.
You’ll see certain files take up more space than others. You might be able to spot an old duplicate HD video file in an obscure location, for example, that you can easily delete without consequences.
The System & Reserved section on this list is a space you should probably ignore. It contains your pagefile and crucial Windows files. However, it’s worth clicking on it just to see if you have an old Windows version hidden in there. When you upgrade to Windows 10, Microsoft may keep a copy of your old Windows 7 / 8.1 setup in case you ever go back. I found it taking up 15GB of space on my drive. Delete!
Next, check your Apps & Games. Look for ones you no longer use. Apps and games take up a lot of space. If you’ve participated in a few Steam sales, then you might have games taking up 30 to 50GB of space apiece. If you’re desperate for more space and don’t play those games anymore, then this is a great place to start eliminating.
Documents, Music, Pictures, Video and Mail are self-explanatory. Click on each of those subheadings to find personal documents you may no longer need to use.
The Storage feature is one of the most helpful parts of Windows 10. You can click through to quickly free up gigabytes of space.
Uninstall Apps & Features
After scanning the Storage setting, it’s time to visit the Apps & Features menu, where you’ll view a list of all programs installed on your computer. Go to Settings > System > Apps & features to find this menu. Or, just type Apps & features into the Cortana / Windows 10 search bar.
Scroll through this list to find programs you no longer use. You can also sort through programs by size, which is a helpful way to see which games or software are taking up an unusual amount of space.
Empty your Recycle Bin
You might have performed all of the steps listed above – only to be disappointed by the lack of space on your drive.
If that’s the case, make sure you empty your recycle bin. All of the files you deleted in the Storage setting are placed in your recycle bin. You might think you deleted several gigabytes of files, but they’re still sitting in your recycle bin and taking up space on your hard drive. Empty the recycle bin and free your storage space.
To empty your Recycle Bin, right-click on the icon on your desktop and click Empty Recycle Bin.
Change OneDrive Sync Options
I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of stuff in my OneDrive account, including a photo album with nearly 120GB worth of photos (I travel a lot, okay?).
Since I’m usually connected to the internet, I don’t really need to have these files available on my local hard drive. However, Microsoft will automatically sync most of your OneDrive files to your local storage by default.
You can change this setting quite easily by right-clicking the OneDrive icon in the Windows system tray (the bottom right corner of your screen). Go to Settings > Account > Choose folders, then uncheck the checkboxes beside any folders you don’t need on your local storage.
Once you’ve done this, Microsoft will no longer sync those folders to your local storage. If you have videos or program data stored in OneDrive, then this can free up a lot of space.
That’s it! By following the tips above, you can easily free up hundreds of gigabytes of storage space. To delete smaller files, temporary files, and other unnecessary data, install software like Total System Care for maximum hard drive cleanliness.