How to Clean Hard Drive in Windows

How to Clean a Hard Drive in Windows – If you notice that your Windows machine is running out of storage, there are several ways to clean things up to free up storage space.

Obviously, you can always buy an extra drive to add more space, but if that’s not an option, there are other things you can do.

1. Start with Hard Drive Cleanup

Windows has a built-in tool called Disk Cleanup. You can use this tool to delete downloaded files, temporary error reports, temporary internet files and more.

To use Disk Cleanup, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Start menu by clicking the Start button or a key on your Windows keyboard
  2. Type Disk Cleanup to search for tools
  3. Select the drive you want to clean and click OK.
  4. Select the files you want to delete and click ok
  5. Repeat the process and select “clean system files” at the bottom
  6. Select another file to delete and click OK

Cleaning system files can delete remaining Windows update files, Microsoft Defender files, update logs, and more.

2. Empty your recycle bin

If you delete files from your machine to make room, one thing you may be missing is your recycle bin.

When you delete a file in Windows, the file is not completely deleted, instead it is placed in your recycle bin. 

This is ideal if you need to recover files that were accidentally deleted, but the files in your recycle bin are still taking up space on your machine. 

You may find that the recycle bin is still full of large files clogging up your machine, even if you think you got rid of them.

To empty your recycle bin, right click on it and click on “empty recycle bin”.

If you want to be a little more careful, right-click on the trash can and click open. Then you can see all the files you deleted earlier and check if you are satisfied before deleting them completely.

3. Change your trash can settings

After emptying the trash, changing the trash settings can also work. 

By default, Windows allocates a certain amount of space for files in the trash. When you reach maximum space, Windows will start deleting old files in the trash.

It is possible to adjust the amount of space the recycle bin can hold and therefore prevent it from clogging your drive in the future.

To do this How to Clean Hard Drive in Windows:

  1. Find the trash can on your desktop
  2. Right click on it and click properties
  3. Choose the max size for the partition (low means it will save less before it is actually deleted)
  4. Or click the “move files to recycle bin” option. Delete files as soon as they are deleted.”
  5. click ok

Obviously, this step can mean that when you delete a file, there is no way to recover it. So be careful with this setting.

4. Uninstall unused apps

After a Windows machine for some time, chances are that you have installed a lot of programs, some of which you may no longer need. 

You may find some apps that you don’t use regularly, haven’t been in use for a long time, or just take up a lot of space and need to be used.

One step to free up space on your Windows machine is to uninstall applications and programs. To do this follow these steps:

  1. Open the Start menu by clicking the Start button or a key on your Windows keyboard
  2. Type Add or Remove Programs
  3. Click to open the app
  4. From there you’ll see a list of installed apps, you can filter them by size or install date to see which ones to remove.
  5. Click the three dots on everything you don’t need
  6. Click Uninstall and follow the further instructions that appear
  7. Repeat the process for anything you don’t need

5. Move files to external drive

One alternative to How to Clean Hard Drive in Windows is to move it to another drive. This might be a bit obvious but you can use an external SSD to back up files and delete them from your Windows registry.

This requires an additional purchase, but still paying to recommend the file and saving is probably better than deleting.

Most of those drives just require you to connect the drive to your PC with a USB cable and then move the files you want to save from your Windows machine to the external drive.

  1. Plug the driver into your PC
  2. Open File Explorer
  3. Find the file you want to move
  4. Click CTRL+X to cut the file
  5. open external drive in windows explorer
  6. Press CTRL+V to paste to external drive

Alternatively, you can drag files from one drive to another with two open locations in different file manager instances.

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