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How to increase your storage space on a PC

Running out of storage space on your PC? Here are three ways to create space on your system and make it easier to find the programs and files you actually use.

  1. Delete programs you never use
    On Windows® 10 and Windows® 8, right-click the Start button (or press Windows key+X), select Control Panel, then under Programs, select Uninstall a program. From this list, you can delete programs you no longer need – select the program you want to uninstall and click Uninstall.

    On Windows® 7, Windows® Vista, or Windows® XP, click the Start button, click Control Panel, then click Add/Remove Programs. From this list, delete the programs you no longer need by selecting the program and clicking Uninstall.

  2. Back up rarely used data on an external hard drive
    It's often said in tech circles that your data is only as safe as your last backup, and this adage is true for almost every user. To back-up your files, get an external hard drive and designate it as your backup drive. By moving rarely used files to an external hard drive, then deleting them from your system, you'll free up valuable storage space.

  3. Run the Disk Cleanup utility
    Disk Cleanup removes temporary files, clears the cache, empties your Recycle Bin, and removes a variety of other files and items you no longer need. Here's how to use Disk Cleanup.

    Windows 10 and Windows 8

    • Right-click the Start button, click Control Panel, click System and Security, click Administrative Tools, and click Disk Cleanup
    • If the Disk Cleanup: Drive Selection dialog box appears, click the hard disk drive you want to clean up, then click OK
    • Click the Disk Cleanup tab, then select the check boxes for the files you want to delete
    • When you finish selecting the files you want to delete, click OK, then click Delete files to confirm the operation
    • Disk Cleanup will then begin to remove the files

    Windows 7

    • Click the Start button, click All Programs, click Accessories, click System Tools, and click Disk Cleanup
    • If the Disk Cleanup: Drive Selection dialog box appears, click the hard disk drive you want to clean up, then click OK
    • Click the Disk Cleanup tab, then select the check boxes for the files you want to delete
    • When you finish selecting the files you want to delete, click OK, then click Delete files to confirm the operation
    • Disk Cleanup will then begin to remove the files

    Windows Vista

    • Click the Start button, click All Programs, click Accessories, click System Tools, and click Disk Cleanup
    • In the Disk Cleanup Options dialog box, choose whether you want to clean up your own files or all of the files on the computer
      • If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, enter the password or provide confirmation
    • If the Disk Cleanup: Drive Selection dialog box appears, select the hard disk drive that you want to clean up, then click OK
    • Click the Disk Cleanup tab, then select the check boxes for the files you want to delete
    • When you finish selecting the files you want to delete, click OK, then click Delete files to confirm the operation
    • Disk Cleanup will then begin to remove the files

Note: Be sure to keep Windows up-to-date with regular Windows Updates.

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Two ways to find your upgrades

Crucial Advisor tool
If you know your system's specs, use this tool.

Crucial System Scanner
If you don't know your system's specs, use this tool.