MS Windows: How To Free Up Hard Disk Space for 2012


Blown your resolutions. It’s not too late to start to better maintain your Windows PC — our How To specialist Brian Burgess shows you how to free up space with a built-in utility in Windows. Easy.

January is a a good time to resolve to be more on top of your system’s health and well-being. A good start is to clear out old and unused files — that will gain you back some storage space on your hard disk. Here’s how.

Before you start deleting files from your drive, make sure to create a System Restore Point.

First go to Start/Computer. Then find the Disk Cleanup utility already on your Windows system.


Next, right click your local disk – usually that’s  C:  –and from the context menu, select Properties.


The Local Disk Properties window displays. Here you can see the amount of used and free space on your drive.

Click Disk Cleanup.


Windows will analyze your drive for old, duplicate and temp files that you can safely delete.


When the scan is complete, you’re shown a list of files the system thinks are deletable — and  how much drive space you’ll free up if you do get rid of them. I run a disk cleanup weekly, so there isn’t a lot of space to be gained.

If you haven’t run it in a while, you’ll be surprised how much space you will get back by getting rid of that old stuff.

Check all of the boxes under Files to Delete then click OK.


Next, Windows asks if you’re sure you want to permanently delete the files. Click Delete Files.


Wait while the system clears the old and temporary files. Mileage varies. The amount of time it takes of course will vary depending upon how many files there are to delete.


When it’s done you’ll see the amount of free space is greater.

Click OK to close out of Disk Cleanup.


One caveat to this method is you have to remember to do it. If you want to automate it, check out my article on aNewDomain’s partner site  groovyPost on how to schedule a disk cleanup in Windows.