Hard Drive Cleanup

I’ve been trying to make room on my Windows XP computer’s hard drive. I’ve deleted applications, thrown out old files by the bunch, and yet I still don’t seem to be freeing up as much space as I would expect.

I just went through this with my computer. Your computer’s system creates a lot of temporary files, including Internet downloads, stuff left over after installations and uninstalls, and other odds and ends. The problem is these “temporary” files can kind of get lost in the shuffle and start clogging things up.

To get completely rid of them, go to your All Programs menu and find the Accessories folder. Within that folder, go to System Tools, and in that folder you will find a program called Disk Cleanup. Select that application.

It will do an initial scan of your hard drive to see how much space it can free up. (This can take a little while.) Once that part of the process is done, you will see a small window that lists things that the Cleanup program can clear out for you and how much space they take up, including things like downloaded Internet files, emptying the Recycle bin, Offline Web Pages. If you’re unsure about what to delete (virtually all of them can be safely deleted, though) you can un-check anything you’re concerned about. Once you select them, the program will go through and clear them out. If you have a lot of files, this can take awhile. My computer took about three hours – but I regained over 15 gigabytes of space!