Free space on your computer’s hard disk is a good thing. Apart from the obvious benefit of having room to store more stuff, there are some other benefits that you may not be aware of!
One of the questions we are often asked is ‘My PC is running slow, have I got too much stuff on it?’. It’s a common misconception that having lots of photos or documents on your computer will slow it down, it won’t… usually.
As always, with every rule there is an exception, and this one is no different!
If you have so many files that you have less than 25% hard disk space left, you’re likely to be suffering from reduced system performance.
If this space drops below 15% then things can really start to slow up, and below 10% free then you’re definitely going to be suffering a performance penalty.
How do I check how much space I have left?
If you’re running Windows Vista, 7 or 8 then you can look at the ‘Computer’ screen and see a handy percentage bar underneath your hard disk.
To get to this, click the ‘Start’ button in the bottom left hand corner of the desktop (Windows 8 users will need to click into the desktop tile first), then click on Computer. You should hopefully see something like the image on the right hand side.
If you’re running Windows XP, or don’t see the ‘disk space bars’ below your drive, you can right click on the hard disk drive and choose ‘Properties’ from the drop down menu. This pops-up a handy screen showing you a pie chart of used and free space.
If you have less than around 30% free then you should consider archiving some old files onto external hard disk drives, memory sticks or DVD disks and then deleting them from the computer.
I still can’t clear enough free space – what can I do?
Firstly, try out CCleaner. This is a free program designed to clear junk from your PC. You can download it here:
Be careful, as with it’s standard options ticked it will clear your most recently used documents list from Word and Windows, plus empty your recycle bin and clear your internet history. If you don’t want this to happen, untick the boxes that apply (such as ‘Internet History’ under Internet Explorer, and ‘Office 2010’ on the second tab)
To do a ‘dry run’ click the ‘Analyse’ button and it will tell you how much space, in MB or GB, you’ll save from running the program. This may help.
If you’re still short on space, a hard drive upgrade may be the best plan. We can duplicate your existing disk onto a larger capacity device (typically 500GB or 1TB) and the system will have lots more free space available. If you’d like us to help you with this, please drop us a line.