Analyzing And Cleaning Out Your Computer’s Hard Drive

These days, hard drive space is incredibly inexpensive. If you’re running out of space, installing a new hard drive could be an easy option to free up storage.

Many times, though, hard drives can become cluttered with old and uncessary information, that, when removed, will give you plenty of free space.

There are a few tips that that will help you find where your storage is being consumed, and potentially save you the investment in a new hard drive.

Disk Space Fan
The first utility to examine is a little application called Disk Space Fan. The standard version of the program is free, and there is also a professional (paid) version. The free version will work for freeing up some space.

Disk Space Fan will show you what folder or folders are using up all of your hard drive space.

When you open the program it will show you all the current hard drives on the computer. Most users will be just working from the C drive. On the C drive there will be a “Windows” folder and a “Program Files” folder.

Next to those folders you will see the size of the files in the folder. This will help you by seeing which folder has more files in it. By clicking on whatever folder you want to analyze you can keep clicking on the folder to find where the most hard drive space is taken up.

This will give you a better idea of where your space has disappeared to. Be extremely careful when deleting files and folders.

If you’re not sure if the folder can be deleted, the best practice would be to leave it in place and talk with your computer professional.

The above method works if you are really looking to cleanup space on a hard drive. For other people maybe just cleaning out temporary files or some old program files is enough.

A great application for cleaning up temporary files and folders is a tool called CCleaner. This tool is an all in one tool to help clean up a computer that might have a lot of old and unused files on it. The software is free for everyone to use.

CCleaner will clean extra program files, Internet explorer temporary files, disable startup items, remove programs that you do not want installed and even cleanup unwanted registry entries.

I am not a person to ever recommend a user to play with the registry but CCleaner does a great job in analyzing the registry and only removing the unwanted registry entries.

The only setback with CCleaner is that it does not have any scheduling feature to allow you to run it regularly without manually running the program every time you want to make a change on the computer.

ATF Cleaner
Finally, if you are a Windows XP user there is a very simple application that I recommend you run every week or so.

ATF cleaner is a freeware application that the user does not even have to install. This application cleans out only temporary files from programs and also the Windows cache.

These are just a few nice little programs that every user can use to help keep their computer running fast and free up disk space.