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TechKnow: 5 Tips For Decluttering And Conserving PC Storage

Because an uncrowded system is a fast system.
by Neps Firmalan | Apr 13, 2015
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We now live in the terabyte era of computer storage where anything less than 1TB is deemed as cramped or constricting. Too bad these two words are still part of the complaints of many geeks when it comes to storage today. The main culprit? Newer software tends to be bigger than their older counterparts in terms of total size. As proof, you can compare the size of, say, Diablo II from 2001 and Diablo III.

There are a couple of reasons why your computer must have adequate real-estate. For one, the programs inside it, including the ones essential to its operation, constantly update themselves for optimum performance, creating new files along the way. Your PC also uses disk space to run programs smoothly, especially if RAM (or Random Access Memory, which is crucial for multi-tasking) is getting low. So obviously, if your machine's crowded inside, it will run at a kakarag-karag pace.

Imagine an overcrowded PC as this poor train:

pc decluttering

You don't want that now, do you?

While we can't do jack about file sizes getting bigger, we can do something to free up additional space inside our PC. In this edition of FHM TechKnow, we show you a few tips on how to declutter your rig which will hopefully will to better, faster overall performance.


pc declutteringGIF via

In case you didn't know, simply pressing "delete" won't remove a file from your PC. Rather, it will send it to the Recycle Bin first. If you're not careful, stuff might accumulate in there over time, resulting to more space taken up by useless files that you thought have been removed from the system. To permanently remove these files from your PC, right click on the Recycle Bin icon and click "Empty Recycle Bin." Alternatively, you can also press Shift + Delete to bypass the RB route and send a file straight to its virtual grave.

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pc decluttering

Chances are, your PC has tons of naughty unnecessary files that it doesn't need to operate. You can probably find a few, but certainly not all of 'em. But you really don't have to; your machine's disk drive has a built-in feature that does the job for you. For Windows users, right click on the disk drive (usually labeled as C:), go to Properties, and click on Disk Cleanup. Our Mac-using bros can use their system's Disk Utility to start cleaning their hard drives (click here for more info). You'll be surprised at how much disk space you can free up.


pc decluttering

Your web-surfing ways also contribute to the increasing clutter inside your rig. Every time you view a page online, your PC will save a few bits of info about it so that you can access it easier and faster next time. The problem is, these data accumulate over time and will become more of a headache than a boon. The good news: Web browsers have removal options that delete these files in a matter of seconds (or minutes if you've been a neglectful user). Go to your browser's History tab to get started.


pc decluttering

One way to conserve disk space is to "zip" (a.k.a. compress) some of your files via programs like WinZip and WinRar. While the difference will almost always be really small, you might be able to gain a significant amount of storage if you do these to many of your files. Zipping also makes sending files easier through e-mail as you can simply combine them in one zip folder and sendfaster than having to individually attach them. Just make sure the recipient has a program that can "unzip" files, mkay?


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An external hard drive is the ultimate solution to a computer that's bursting at the seams with tons of files. You can buy EHDs in different storage options (usually 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB) depending on how bad you need the extra space. Fortunately, some of the new ones come with wireless connectivity (like this bad boy from WD) so you can access your files without the need for wires. We recommend storing multimedia content on an external hard drive and keeping the ones you often use inside your computer for better search efficiency.

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