The other day, I had a Facebook message from a friend and it basically said: “Help! My computer disc is full. What can I do about it?”

This is a common problem, especially as we now store loads of pictures and videos on our computers. These are usually big files and take up a lot of memory, especially when you add them up.

So how do you deal with it?

Well the analogy I like to use is that of a rubbish bin. When your rubbish bin is full you have a couple of options:

  • take out all the recyclable stuff
  • squash the rubbish down (disc clean up and defragmentation)
  • take out some rubbish and put it in another bin
  • buy a bigger bin!

This is how you do that on a computer.

Declutter your computer

Start by looking at what you have on your computer.

Are there any files that you don’t need? For example, photos or video files that you don’t want. Delete these.

Move old stuff to an external hard drive

There are some files that you’ll want to keep, such as old photos, videos, business records. Archive these to a separate external hard drive.

Check your recycle bin

Any time you delete a file on your computer, it isn’t actually deleted, it’s moved to the recycle bin. So, the first thing I check is when was the last time that you emptied your computers recycle bin? By permanently deleted what’s there, you immediately free up space.

To empty your recycle bin:

  • On your computer desktop, right click on [Recycle bin], usually found in the top left hand corner.
  • You now have the option to Empty recycle bin. Click on this.
  • Everything in there will now be permanently deleted.

Uninstall any programs that you don’t use

To do this, navigate to your computers Control Panel. You’ll find this under Windows System.

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You are now in your Control Panel. Select Programs.

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You should now e able to see which programs you have installed. To uninstall a program, simply click on it, then click on [Uninstall]

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Choose Programs and select any program files no longer used. Once selected, you have the option to uninstall it.

Please be careful if you do this. Some programs are essential for making your computer work, and it isn’t always a name that would be familiar to you. For example, I have an HP laptop, so I always keep any programs from them.

Run a disk clean up

What this does is look at your computer and checks how much space you can free up by removing temporary files and similar items that the computer itself recognises are no longer needed.

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You’ll find the Disk Clean up under the Windows Administrative Tools. (Or by right-clicking on C:, then Properties)

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Click on Disk Clean-up and it will tell you what files can be deleted and how much space this will release.

Optimise your drives

Optimising and defragmenting your hard drives won’t create any space, but will improve the efficiency of your computer.

To do this, you will find the Defragment and Optimise Drives option in Windows Administrative Tools.

computer disc is full

Simply click on [Optimise].

Buy a new computer

At some point you will get to the point where you will need more space. As computer hardware improves so does the amount of memory on a basic computer. In general, buy as much space as you can afford, but remember, without proper housekeeping, you will still find that in time, you’ll run out of space.

I hope you found this useful.

Remember, I run a number of support packages for clients and can create a package tailored to your specific needs.

Why not book a free chat, and let’s see if I can help you out.

Take care for now

Karen x