How to Clear Hard Drive Space

by Nichelle Coleman

Over a period of time your PC's hard drive can become cluttered with unnecessary files and programs. Some programs are installed but never used, or daily usage can cause fragmented files to take up hard drive space on your PC. Window has a utility that allows you to clear up hard rive space on your PC by removing unwanted files or Windows components. Clearing up space can help your PC operate more efficiently.

Click on the Start button on your PC, then choose "Programs." Next, choose "Accessories," then "System Tools," then "Disk Cleanup." This opens the disk cleanup dialog box. The system will calculate how much space can be recovered. You will see a list of files, such as, temporary internet files and the recycle bin, and the space that you can retrieve from it.

Choose the files that you want cleaned, then click "OK." You will be asked to confirm the delete and then they will be deleted. After these files have been deleted, choose the More Options tab and choose the Clean Up tab under "Windows Components". Here you'll see a list of Windows items that you can uninstall that you may not use anymore, such as, Fax Services and Windows Messenger. You can uninstall these items to clear up space on your hard drive

Place a check mark in the boxes next to the items that you wish to remove and then choose "Next." Windows will process the removal of these items.

Choose the Clean Up tab listed under "Installed Programs". This opens the Add/Remove Programs list. This shows a list of programs and software that you have installed on your system. If there are programs that you have installed that you no longer use, choose the items that you wish to remove and allow windows to remove them.

Choose the Clean Up tab under "System Restore." This will assist you in removing restore points that may have taken up space due to multiple programs being installed or uninstalled. You will be asked if you want to delete the most recent restore points. If you want to delete them press "OK."

Defragment your hard drive. Click the Start button on your PC and then choose "Programs," then "Accessories." Next choose "System Tools" and then "Disk Defragmenter." Choose your drive and click "Defragmenter" at the bottom. This will aid in clearing up space on your hard drive due to files left over from daily usage of your PC.

About the Author

Nichelle Coleman began writing professionally in 2005 and has contributed to professional sites, including eHow.com and LIVESTRONG. With a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and a master's in technical communication, she helps software companies create training documentation. She specializes in technical, educational and business topics.