It's all very well having electronic devices in our lives like PCs, laptops, smart phones and tablets, but in order to work as they should, they require a certain amount of maintenance.
These computer driven devices have storage space for not only keeping files, photos and video clips but they also need space for the background computing the device does to keep going and meet our needs.
So occasionally it's good housekeeping practice to clear out all the unwanted or used stuff on your device that clutters up the storage and slows its down performance down. You can install apps to do this for you on PCs and laptops but when it comes to smart phones and tablets, it's better to do it yourself as it's straightforward and avoids causing other issues like unwanted malware. A word of caution when installing software or apps to clean or purge your device. There are lots out there full of malware
that can install unwanted advertisements or other nasty stuff. So as always, read those reviews first.
Listed below are some handy life hacks for saving space on your devices and clearing down space without deleting important files. Settings menu access may differ on certain devices.
Install reputable software to manage storage issues.
Programs such as CCleaner
are good for helping to manage storage space and tidy up the overall running of your PC/laptop or mobile device. A word of caution when installing 'cleaning' software as there are lots out there loaded with malware which install unwanted adverts and other nasty stuff. Read the reviews as always. CCleaner has always worked well for me.
CLEAR THE CACHE - mobile devices
The cache is the part of a computer that stored recently used information so it can be accessed quickly later on. When installing an app on your smartphone or tablet, it caches a lot of data which can build up over time.
To clear the cache:
Go to SETTINGS Menu
APPLICATIONS or APPLICATION MANAGER
Click on a large sized app e.g Google Maps or Facebook
Use the buttons to clear or delete cache files
REDUCE PHOTO & VIDEO CLIP QUALITY - mobile devices
Most smart phones now come with 12-megapixel cameras which is great for high resolution quality, 4K or HD quality videos. The downside is the size of the files this creates can be massive and take up a lot of space on your mobile device, PC or laptop.
When copying photos or video clips to a PC/laptop it is possible to reduce the size of the files using software.
iPhone - you can reduce the quality video in 'Settings'
Samsung phones - you can reduce the size of photos in the camera app
-Delete text messages or message threads - especially those with media attached (video or photos).
-Backing up to iCloud is the most suitable option if you want to keep valuable files
-Remove unused Apps - By going into Settings, General, Storage & iCloud Usage, Manage Storage - you can select from the list of apps which ones you no longer want and are taking up space
-Delete In-App content - if you have iBook apps or ebooks downloaded it's worth checking for any In-App content that may also be downloaded to your phone
-By using the Storage feature and locating larges files, you can remove unwanted files
-Apps tend to take up a large amount of space. Clearing the cache is a big help or better still, deleting old or unused apps
-Move media files (photos and video) from phone memory to external SD card
-Set the camera to storage photos and video in external SD card
-Move apps to the external SD card if possible
-FILES GO is a Google owned app designed to free up storage space manage your device better
REMOVE DUPLICATE FILES OR PHOTOS
Sometimes, photos or video clips are stored on devices more than once taking up space unnecessarily
CCleaner has a built in feature to find and delete duplicate files.
It's advisable to do this manually on smart phones to retain control of the device. Going into the 'Gallery' or photos folder and selecting or marking the duplicates is a saver way of doing it.
REMOVE PREVIOUS SYSTEM RESTORE POINTS - PC/laptop
System restore is a function where you go restore your PC or laptop following a system failure to a certain point where files were saved and everything was last updated. The trouble is, this takes up space in its own right when it's performed on multiple occasions.
You can restrict the amount of space on the hard-drive a system restore takes up
Type 'system' in the search box - this launches SYSTEM CONTROL PANEL
Click System Protection link
Select the Drive in the System Properties box
Drag the slider to change the amount of hard drive space allocated to System Restore
COMPRESS FILES AND FOLDERS - PC/laptop/mobile devices
Free up space on your PC/laptop hard drive by archiving files and folders you don't use very often in groups.
JPEG files are already compressed but can be compressed further. WinZip is a popular program for archiving files with encryption.
REMOVE DUPLICATE FILES - PC/laptop/mobile devices
Duplicate files or photos can take up unnecessary space on your device's hard-drive.
CCleaner has a feature identify duplicate files and remove them upon request.
Select 'Duplicate Finder'
Match the duplicates by name, size, modified date
Specify to include or exclude from the search
TRANSFER MEDIA FILES TO USB STORAGE - PC/laptop/mobile devices
Photos and video are the main offenders when it comes to taking up space. Moving them to a USB storage device such as Western Digital's personal cloud products e.g MY CLOUD
are a good way of freeing up space and backing up important stuff at the same time.
MY CLOUD allows you to have your own cloud storage system and access it remotely