Tips to Reclaim Disk Space

I often hear from computer users the complaint that the space on their hard-drive seems to be "shrinking", and sometimes they can't figure out why or what they can do to reclaim disk space.

Outlined in this post are are few useful suggestions on how you can help to reclaim disk space on your hard-drive(s).

Uninstall Programs:

Uninstall programs you don't use and you're sure that Windows doesn't need.
In Windows, click on Start, then open up your Control Panel. In the control panel click on the "Add or Remove Programs" in XP, or for Vista it should be under "Programs / Uninstall a program" or in classic view it's "Programs and Features".

After the list of installed programs loads in, scroll through the list and see if there are programs listed there that you don't use. If you're not sure of what a program is for or what it does, for the time being, I'd suggest to leave it alone as it could be an important program for Windows or some hardware to operate properly. You could do some research for what an unknown program is to get an idea of what it is for and if you need it on your computer or not.

So if you are sure it's a program you don't use or is not needed, click on it to select it, and often times a "Remove" or "Uninstall" button will appear that you can click on. After uninstalling the program(s), it's good practice to re-start the computer to help ensure all changes take effect and clean the memory.

Recycle Bin Tips:

Empty your recycle bin. Of course first be sure there's no files in it that you will need.

By default, the Windows Recycle Bin takes up around 10% of your hard-drive's space.
For instructions on how to reduce this wasteful setting and reclaim some of your HD space, visit the following link:

System Restore Tips:

System Restore can also take up a large chunk of disk-space over time and can grow way too large. To reduce this, you can check out the following site for instructions on how to do this.
For Windows Vista, visit the following link for details on how to do this:

In XP, it's easier to do:
To resize windows restore, right click on “My Computer” and choose “Properties” then “System Restore“.
Click on “C drive” (the Drive that you want to resize) then “Settings..” button. On “Disk space usage”, move the slider to the left to decreace the amount of disk space for System Restore. The better size is about 1000-1500mb or may be less that it. Then “Ok” to confirm.

Delete User Account Temp Files:

As you use Windows and various programs on a user account, some temporary files and folders may automatically be created. However, these temp files are not always deleted when they are no longer required, and over time this can add up to a sizable amount of disk-space they use.

So here is a quick and easy way to access these temp file and then you should be able to safely delete them all.

Click Start, then select Run. Now enter the following command: %temp%

This should open up the Temp folder for your user account. You may see a list of folders and files within this Temp folder. These are all temporary folders and files that you can safely delete to reclaim some disk space. Don't delete the actual Temp folder itself, only all of the folders and files within it.

To select all of the files for deletion, click on the top file on the list to highlight it, now scroll all the way down to the last file, hold your Shift key, then click on the last file. This will highlight the whole list. Now right-click on any highlighted file and select "Delete". If a file is currently in use, perhaps an open program is currently using one of these temp files, then you may get a warning that you can't delete it. You can then skip that file, or close any applications running that may be using it then try again.

Once you choose to delete all of these file, they may be moved into your Recycle bin. Once they are in the Recycle Bin, then you can simply empty it to permanently delete these files and reclaim some disk space.

Crap Cleaner to Remove Junk Files:

I also suggest getting a good and free utility that can easily help clean up junk from your computer and regain disk space, CCleaner:
It also has a nice registry cleaner feature too.

IE Temp Files Tips:

Also, if you use IE browser, reduce the storage size setting for temp files. From the Internet Explorer top menu bar click on "Tools" then "Internet Options". From the General tab, the section that reads "Temporary Internet Files", click on "Settings". You'll see a slider that reads "Amount of Disk Space Used". Move that slider more to the left to save disk-space. Then "OK" everything.

Defrag your Hard Drives:

As outlined in one of my previous posts. I'd suggest to run a disk-defrag on your hard-drive(s) about once a month or so to help reclaim some possibly wasted disk-space, as well it will help to keep things running more smoothly.

Well, there you have it. After following these tips, you will probably have reclaimed a good chunk of your hard-drive space.
Cheers! :)