How to free up hard drive space with Windows 10 | Digital Trends Spanish

Knowing how to free up hard drive space with Windows 10 is a must, even with new SSDs, which, while much faster and more reliable, are limited in size. There are several ways to get back your busy storage, especially duplicate documents that can be safely deleted.

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Empty the Recycle Bin

Ah, the beloved Recycle Bin… Nice to know that there are some things about Windows that haven’t changed in a long time. In this sense, Windows 10 still uses the Recycle Bin to hide all the files you want to delete, and emptying it can be effective to free up additional space.

José Luis Plascencia / Digital Trends in Spanish

You can right click on the Recycle Bin icon for the option to directly empty it. If you can’t find the icon, go to start menu, then Setting, Choose System, then go to Storage. Select local storage in This team: Find and click Temporary files.

This will show all locations with temporary files, including its own Recycle Bin. Check the box next to Recycle Bin, select the option Delete files at the top of the screen and confirm your decision. That’s all you have to do!

Note– Emptying the Recycle Bin will only help to clean your Windows 10 hard drive if it is very full. When you download Windows 10 for the first time (and long after, depending on your habits), emptying it may not have much of an impact on your hard drive. If you’re not sure, take a look in the trash to see how full it is first. A few GB of data can make a difference.

Delete temporary files and downloads

Remember how emptying the Recycle Bin led you to Temporary Files? If you want to clean your hard drive more thoroughly, you can remove all temporary files completely.

What exactly are we getting rid of here? Windows temporary files are used to manage document editing, some application processes, various printing tasks, and so on.

These files are usually deleted automatically, but sometimes they stay there. Get rid of all of them by checking the box next to each file type and clicking the option Delete files at the top of the screen.

Free up hard drive space in Windows 10 by deleting Temporary Files
José Luis Plascencia / Digital Trends in Spanish

Another time when files are created automatically occurs when you download something from the internet. These files appear in your downloads and tend to stay there, which means they can add up quickly if you’re downloading a lot of content to your computer.

Go to the folder downloads (File Explorer> This PC> Downloads), and remove files you no longer need by highlighting them in groups or individually. This is a great way to manually clean up the space without accidentally deleting something you’ll need later on.

Uninstall apps

Too many apps can lead to a slowdown or lack of space for other content, especially on some of the smaller and lighter Windows devices (like Surface tablets). Some applications can take up a large amount of space: the trick is to locate the part of the hard drive with the most resources and which you can do without.

Delete applications, another way to free up hard disk space in Windows 10
José Luis Plascencia / Digital Trends in Spanish

From the Start menu, go to Setting, Choose Applications and later Applications and Features. Here you can see all the downloaded apps. Windows 10 allows you to organize them according to various statistics: if you have a long list, sort them according to the amount of space on the hard drive they are occupying.

Check which apps are taking up the most space and remove the ones you can do without. Verify that the application does not have anything valuable, then select it and press Uninstall.

Change the way you use OneDrive

OneDrive is a cloud service for Windows, so you might think that all the cloud data you use will help free up hard drive space, not occupy it. This is true, except for one particular OneDrive feature: the ability to save files offline, which you might not even know you’re using.

This is a useful feature: if you are working with confidential files or large projects with deadlines, it is a good idea to have a backup. But if you’re using OneDrive and automatically saving offline for every file and document at work, school, or home, then you’re probably sacrificing hard drive space without knowing it.

You’ll find the OneDrive icon at the right side of the taskbar (may be lurking under the arrow Show hidden icons). Click on the cloud icon and select Setting (the three dots in the upper right corner), then select the option preferences.

This will take you to all the files OneDrive is saving offline, and how much space each one takes up. Deselect all the OneDrive folders you don’t need, and remember that you can access all of these files online at, so you’re really not missing a thing.

Use the Xbox One

Microsoft platforms are increasingly interconnected, and the convergence is very evident in Windows 10, which connects more freely to other Microsoft devices such as the Xbox One console.

If you have an Xbox One, you can use it to help save space by exchanging selected apps and data. You can stream content from Xbox to your Windows 10 computer with just a few steps.

This allows you to store data on the console and free up space on your computer, if you have content that you only use while at home. Just remember to delete the data from your PC after transferring it to the Xbox.

Use an external hard drive

One of the easiest ways to clean your hard drive in Windows 10 is to move additional data off of your computer, and for this you can use both USB drives and external hard drives.

Moving files from computer to external hard drive, another way to free up hard drive space in Windows 10
José Luis Plascencia / Digital Trends in Spanish

First, plug in your hard drive and make sure it’s properly formatted and ready to load. Dragging and dropping a file onto the new drive with File Explorer will create a copy of the file, allowing you to delete the original.

You can move large blocks of files at the same time by opening the File Browser on the taskbar and select all the files you want to move off of your computer’s hard drive.

Once they are selected, go to the menu Start at the top of the screen, select Move to, then select Choose location. Choose your external drive from the list, and you will delete all the files on that destination, you won’t even have to delete anything afterwards.

Use a cloud storage service

Buying an external hard drive or USB device is not your only option for downloading and saving your files. Instead, you can copy them to free or paid cloud storage services. Then delete the copy on your computer, which will free up more space.

Cloud storage is an easy and secure way to store your data. Some of the benefits include the ability to copy your operating system and files to transfer and restore them to a new device if necessary.

Instead of relying on physical storage like USB and external hard drives, you can use a cloud-based service to “carry” documents with you and access them from anywhere you are. All you need is an email to login or a username and password to log in.

Many cell phones will save certain files, such as the photos you are taking, in the cloud automatically. This backup system is ideal because you can save your data even if your phone fails. You can also access any file that you have saved in cyberspace from different devices.

Computer users can drag and drop files to cloud storage or upload data with little difficulty. Take into account the amount of space available to confirm that you have room for all your data.

Widely used examples of cloud-based services include iDrive (our favorite), plus Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and iCloud. Businesses are constantly developing cloud options, so you can find the perfect option for your storage needs.

Go through reviews and consider how big the name of your cloud service is to make sure it’s trustworthy. That way, you can practically guarantee that your files won’t go anywhere, ever.

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