To start out, my first recommendation would be to not waste time freeing up Hard Disk Space at all. Rather than wiping your Hard Drive (which can be complicated and time-consuming) you can add an external hard-drive to store your information or sign up for some free cloud share. However, if there are unwanted or unnecessary files on your computer that you want off to free up some space, here’s a few recommendations!

1. Delete Large Data Files: Open an explorer window, navigate to This PC/My PC and search your computer using the phrase: size: gigantic. This action will identify all of the files on your computer greater than 128 mb.

2. Run Disk Cleanup: Windows includes a built in tool that automatically locates and deletes temporary files and other unimportant files. To access this tool, open an explorer window and navigate to This PC/My PC, right-click one of your hard drive icons (one at a time) and select Properties, and then on the General tab, click the Disk Cleanup button.

3. Clear Browser Caches: Windows Disk Cleanup tool doesn’t clean up files used by other programs, such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, or Edge browsers. However, you can delete them yourself.

  • for Internet Explorer, Select TOOLS, INTERNET OPTIONS, and on the GENERAL tab in the BROWSING HISTORY section, click the DELETE button.
  • For Chrome, select HISTORY from the chrome menu, and then on the HISTORY screen, click the CLEAR BROWSING DATA button, check the types of history files you want to delete, and then click the CLEAR BROWSING DATA button.
  • For Firefox, select the HISTORY button from the Firefox menu and then CLEAR RECENT HISTORY, select the types of files you want to delete, and then click the CLEAR NOW button.
  • For Microsoft Edge, select the MORE menu (displayed as three dots) in the top right corner. next, select SETTINGS, and then in the CLEAR BROWSING SECTION area, click the CHOOSE WHAT TO CLEAR button. Select the types of history files you want to clear, and click the CLEAR button.

4. Uninstall unnecessary applications: To remove unnecessary applications launch Control Panel and select Programs and Features to view all of your installed applications. This will also tell you how much space each application is taking up. If you feel like one is cluttering up your computer, simply right-click the application and uninstall it.

Source: Journal of Accounting, American Institute of CPA’s, Nov.2016