Delete Old Files and Free Up Disk Space

From time to time, it is a good idea to go through old files and delete or archive them. This process is important for two completely different reasons. By going through and deleting old set up programs, and files you will never use again, you free up potentially valuable disk space. The other reason, is that if you identify files you know are important, by copying them to a CD, USB Drive, or Thumbdrive, you copy your important files to another location in case there were ever computer issues that prevented access of them, or incase the computer were to be stolen or destroyed.

Carefully go through your installed programs by opening your control panel in the start menu, and selecting add or remove programs. If there are programs that you have not used for a long time and will no longer be using, uninstall them. Some programs run in the background and you do not even know it. If you do not need it, remove it and it not only cleans up hard disk space, it may improve your overall computer speed. If any of these programs ask you if you want to delete shared files while uninstalling, I recommend not doing that. You may cause other programs not to work if you are not absolutely sure.

Disk cleanup how to

1. Click on the Start Menu, and then click My Computer.

2. Right-click your hard drive and then click Properties.

3. Make sure you are on the General tab, and then click the Disk Cleanup button. Disk Cleanup may take a few minutes while it analyzes your disk space and temporary files.

4. Once the Disk Cleanup dialog box will appears, select each of the check boxes in the Files to delete list that you wish to clean up, and then click OK. I do not recommend selecting the "Compress Old Files" as this does not clean up or delete any files; rather it compresses files you have not used in a while, and may actually slow down system performance.

5. Once prompted, click Yes to confirm the deletion. Disk Cleanup will then spend several minutes removing the files you have selected.

6. If you have more than one computer, repeat these steps on the other hard drives. Your main hard drive (Usually C) will probably contain the most temporay files.


Clean Up Temporary Files

It is important to clean your temporary files from time to time. If your computers hard drive space or virtual memory is full, your computer can run extremely slow. Your computer creates temporary files every time you do anything on your computer. When you open a webpage, looks at pictures, type a document or look at a spreadsheet, information about those changes or what you downloaded is stored somewhere on your computer. Those files stay there even after you have closed the document or website.

To delete your temporary internet files, you need to open up your internet browser and do the following depending your browser:

Internet Explorer
Go to Tools and Internet Options. Make sure you are on the general tab, the following buttons labeled Delete Cookies and Delete Files. When you click on one, it may take a moment to complete, so be patient and wait to click the other button after the first has completed. From here you can also clear your internet history which can become extensive depending on the length settings for storage of such information.

Firefox
In Firefox, all you have to do is click on Tools then Clear Private Data. Select which temporary files you would like to clear and click Clear Private Data Now. If you want to dig into the options a little bit, firefox can be set to automatically clear selected private data when the browser is closed.


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