Free-Tools-for-Recovering-Disk-Space

Removing unnecessary files is a great way to recover disk space and performance. With too many temporary files collected, not only is performance degraded but literally GBs of space are oftentimes used. Aside from temporary files, sometimes installed programs just garnish all the available space leaving room only for even larger system restore points to eat away at open space.

Follow our quick tips to recover this disk space using freely available tools. We’ll be using Windows 7 in these examples.

Remove unnecessary files to start recovering disk space

CCleaner is used by many to quickly and certainly effectively remove files that are no longer needed. Anything from Internet Explorer’s temporary Internet files to log files built up by installed programs. What’s great about CCleaner is with every update they add support for more programs.

Click “Run Cleaner” from the “Cleaner” tab to remove all these files.

Remove-unnecessary-files-with-CCleaner

Download CCleaner.

Empty the Recycle Bin

You can free up space by emptying the Recycle Bin? What’s already been deleted? Yes, it’s as simple as it may seem. I find loads of people having disk space issues that haven’t thought of emptying the Recycle Bin. Periodically do this to recover likely large amounts of space because when you send an item to the Bin, it simply ends there until you empty it. Think of it like a real garbage bin that isn’t empty until you manually take it out.

Free-space-by-emptying-the-recycle-bin

In the Recycle Bin’s properties window, choose a “Custom size” limit for the Bin to ensure it doesn’t use up too mush disk space holding deleted items.

Limit-the-size-of-the-Recycle-Bin

Although this isn’t recommended, the Recycle Bin can be bypassed when removing files and folders by accessing the Recycle Bin properties dialog box. Choose to enable the “Don’t move files to the Recycle Bin. Remove files immediately when deleted” options bubble.

Bypass-the-Recycle-Bin-to-permanently-delete-files

Alternative, holding down the Shift key while deleting something will ask if you’re sure you want to “permanently delete this.” This is great for files and folders you’re for sure never going to need again. This key essentially enables the above setting only temporarily.

Hold-the-Shift-key-when-deleted-an-item-to-bypass-the-Bin

Erase junk files from applications with JetClean

Although CCleaner works very well finding and discarding unnecessary junk, sometimes it just doesn’t find it all. Use JetClean to attempt additional scans to clear up valuable disk space. Confirm the “Internet Cache” is checked under the “Apps Clean” tab for installed browsers to remove the left over files they create.

Click “Scan & Repair” to search and fix problems automatically.

Scan-and-repair-junk-files-using-JetClean

View-unprocessed-issues-in-JetClean-after-a-scan

Download JetClean.

Uninstall unused or large programs

Many Adobe programs, for example, use a lot of disk space – oftentimes in the upper gigabytes range while others like Sub4Del use just over a megabyte. Open a Run dialog box and enter “appwiz.cpl” to quickly open the “Program and Features” portion of the Control Panel.

Open-appwiz.cpl-from-the-Run-box

Click the “Size” column to sort the list with the largest reported programs at the top. Remove unnecessary applications to free up tons of disk space.

Sort-the-Programs-and-Features-menu-in-Control-Panel-to-find-the-largest-installed-programs

Notice Windows is reporting “Adobe Creative Suite 6 Master Collection” to be just under 2.6 GB but while using a program like IObit Uninstaller, we find a tremendous size difference of 8 GB. Although the Control Panel is quick to access and requires no download, considering running IObit Uninstaller, where a dedicated space is provided for “Large Programs.”

Use-IObit-Uninstaller-to-find-large-programs

A great addition found in IObit Uninstaller is a feature called “Powerful Scan” which scans for any leftover files or folders on the disk after the uninstall is complete. This combines both the removal feature found in Windows and the clean up utilities running in CCleaner.

Run-a-Powerful-Scan-in-IObit-Uninstaller-to-remove-all-traces-of-an-uninstalled-program

Download IObit Uninstaller.

Limit disk space usage for System Restore

If System Restore points are being created left and right on your machine, or if you have several points lingering and consuming gigabytes of space, consider altering the settings.

Right-click “Computer” and choose it’s “Properties” from the Start menu. Select “Advanced System Settings” and then the “System Protection” tab to select “Configure…”

Open-the-System-Restore-settings

We have a few options here. First we can slide the “Max Usage” amount to a smaller number to ensure no more disk space is allotted for restore points. Use the arrow keys while to move the ticker ever so slightly between options for a finer setting.

We could also periodically come in and click “Delete” to manually remove current restore points.

Remove-all-System-Restore-points-to-free-up-disk-space

Though not recommended, we could “Turn off system protection” entirely, eliminated all that used up space and preventing it from happening again. This shouldn’t be chosen because no restoring capabilities will work in the event it’s needed.

Find and eliminate duplicate files

Duplicate files are literally causing wasted space. There is no need to have two of the exact same files present on one computer. If anything, a shortcut to an actual file should be the only other reference to it – not having an exact replica that’s using unnecessary disk space. Use DeDupler to scan and remove duplicates with the option to try replacing a duplicate with a shortcut.

Find-duplicate-files-with-DeDupler

Download DeDupler.

Whether it’s leftover application files or three exact copies of a movie on your hard disk, use these above tools to surely recover more space. Not only can too many junk files make adding new files to a drive problematic but it can clutter basic performance and cause system lockups.