How to Free Up Computer Disk Space

By Andrew Smith

Updated September 28, 2017

Through time, you may find that your computer begins running slower than it used to. One reason for this may be that your disk is running out of room. Eliminating files and programs from your hard drive will improve the speed of your computer and allow you to add files and programs that you will actually use. The overall process is rather simple, as you don't even have to do everything yourself. Here is how to free up computer disk space.

Begin by running Disk Cleanup. Removing temporary Internet and Windows files, emptying the Recycle Bin and deleting components that you haven't used in a long time and no longer use is a great way to free up some computer disk space. Disk Cleanup does all of this for you. Using Disk Cleanup should definitely be your first step when trying to free up some disk space.

Go through your audio and video files and delete any songs, movies or other files that you don't want anymore. A single song or video will not take up much space on your disk. However, chances are that anybody who downloads or rips music and videos onto a computer has more than just a handful of these files that could be deleted. Consider making a large data CD with these files before you remove them from your computer.

Browse through the “Add or Remove Programs” section of your control panel and remove any programs you don't use. Disk Cleanup does catch some of these programs but not all of them. When going through the list of programs, consider if you actually need every program before you decide to keep or delete it.

Download, install and run an anti-spyware/anti-adware program. Disk Cleanup has been known to miss these types of files. This is important in both freeing up some computer disk space as well as keeping your computer safe from infections.