Running low on storage space can slow down your PC. Windows hold the temporary files by using the hard drive space which makes the system and the applications slow. Use the Windows 10 built-in tools to clean up temporary junk files. These tools can help you to free-up storage space and improve the performance of the system.
Related: How to increase storage space in MacBook.
Free Up Storage Space in Windows 10
Below are few of the ways to increase storage space in Windows 10:
- Uninstall unnecessary apps and games
- Move files to external drive
- Use Windows 10 Storage sense option
- Change content saving location
- Clean your hard disk
- Use cloud storage like OneDrive
1. Uninstall Apps & Games
Uninstalling the unwanted apps or game could be the first choice while increasing the storage space. You probably don’t use them and this could be the right time to uninstall them. To uninstall such apps:
- Go to ‘Settings’ app by through ‘Start menu’.
- Navigate to ‘Apps > Apps & Features’. Use the ‘Sort by’ drop-menu to view unwanted apps/games according to their ‘Size’.
- Click on the app, choose ‘Uninstall’ and then click ‘Uninstall’ button again.
2. Moving Files to External Drive
If you have a portable hard drive or USB disk, then move some files from your PC or laptop to the external drive. This would free up space inside your computer, especially on the Windows 10 installation drive (generally C: drive). Follow the below steps to move files to external drive:
- Connect your portable/external drive.
- Open ‘File Explorer’ and go to the file you want to move.
- Go to the ‘Home’ tab from the top menu.
- Choose the ‘Move to’ then click on ‘Choose location’.
- Select your external media and click on ‘Move’.
3. Use Storage Sense
Storage sense is a really cool feature in Windows 10. It automatically detects the temporary files which you don’t need and deletes them.
- Go to ‘Settings’ app, head over to ‘System > Storage’.
- Under ‘Storage sense’, click on the link ‘Change how we free up space automatically’.
- Turn ‘On’ the storage sense.
- Select when to ‘Run storage sense’ for every day, every week, every month or let windows decides it. Choose any one option you like.
- Under ‘Temporary files’, check the option ‘Delete temporary files that my apps aren’t using’.
- Then, select the time period for ‘Recycle bin’ and ‘Downloads‘ folder.
- Go back to the ‘Storage’, click on the link option ‘Free up space now’ under ‘Storage sense’. It will start collecting and let you choose the items you’d like to permanently remove the temporary files.
- Select the files you would like to clean up and click on the ‘Remove files’ button.
4. Change Content Save Location
You can also change the path where the content is currently saved on your computer. We recommend to save content like audio and videos on outside the Windows installation drive.
- Under ‘More storage settings’ in ‘Storage’, click on the link ‘Change where new content is saved’. Now, change the paths for new apps, documents, music, photos and videos etc.
- Click on the drop-down list and select any drive for saving content and click on ‘Apply’ button.
5. Disk Cleanup
Disk clean is a tool to delete unnecessary and temporary files from a hard drive. This can be done via settings app as well as from the file explorer. We have already discussed ‘how to remove temporary files through settings app’ in the previous step. To delete via file explorer:
- Open ‘This PC’ from your desktop.
- Right-click on the C-drive and choose ‘Properties’.
- From the bottom, click on ‘Disk cleanup’ button in ‘General’ tab.
- Now, click on ‘Clean up system files’ button.
- Check all the option is ‘Files to delete’ section and click on ‘OK’ button.
- At last, click the ‘Delete Files’ button.
It will take some while and after the completion, you’ll see the temporary files have been removed and free space will be increased.
6. Store Files in Cloud
Windows has OneDrive cloud storage service which is really helpful in storing the files when you’re low on storage. It has a feature called ‘Files On-Demand’ which allows you to store and access your files on the cloud using ‘File Explorer’. To enable OneDrive’s ‘File On-Demand’ in Windows:
- First of all, sign-in to your OneDrive.
- Click on the OneDrive icon at the bottom-right of the taskbar.
- Click the ‘Custom menu’ button and select ‘Settings’.
- Under the ‘Settings’ tab, check the ‘Save space and download files as you use them’ in ‘Files On-Demand’ section.
- Press ‘OK’ button in the end.
From now on, you just have to move your files to OneDrive folder. You can also try iCloud though it is generally used on Mac.
Always ensure to have sufficient free space on the Windows installation drive so that the applications can run smoothly. Keep the desktop, recycle bin, browser history and all other locations clean to avoid the files cluttered over period of time. We do hope the above mentioned solutions help you to increase storage space in Windows 10 computer.