Computer Maintenance: Free up hard drive space

Summary

It is recommended to perform basic hard disk maintenance on your device at least once a month, perhaps more if your device is experiencing excessive slowness or is more than a few years old. When you use a computer, tablet, or phone the hard disk is filled little by little with every use. These are some tips for basic recommended maintenance, including more advanced disk usage statistics software to be used only by Zone Support:

  • Delete unneeded applications and programs by using your control panel or applications folder.
  • Regularly run virus and malware scans to get rid of unwanted programs.
  • Delete duplicate files such as photos, videos, and text documents.

Escalation

For all requests to free up hard drive space on University-owned computers, escalate to the appropriate Zone Support group. 

  • The Service Desk should only be using this document for personally owned computers 

Windows Cleanup Utilities

Built-In Disk Cleanup

Windows offers a built-in tool used for deleting temporary files and unimportant data that is taking up space on your hard drive. You can locate the tool by searching for Disk Cleanup from your Start menu. The tool will allow you to select which temporary file locations you would like to delete.

Mac Cleanup Utilities

Uninstall Programs

To uninstall from the Applications folder:

  • Ensure the programs to delete are completely closed if they were open
  • Locate the program in the Applications list, and drag it to the trash icon in the dock
  • Empty the trash
  • Restart the computer

Some programs may require more steps in order to uninstall:

Android Cleanup Utilities

Built-In Android Cleanup

Android operating systems have the ability to manually check your system data and clear the cache and App data. You can look at what Apps are taking the most data.

  1. Open Settings
  2. Tap on System, and then Storage
  3. It will calculate what apps are using the most space so you can delete the app data, or remove the apps that are taking up the most space

CCleaner for Android

CCleaner offers a free version of their software available in the Google Play Store. When you use the app, it allows you to select which temporary file locations and caches you can clear.

Google Photos Backup

Having an account with the University allows you to use Google's backup systems. This allows you to backup files such as photos and videos to the Google cloud so they do not take up space on your phone. More information about Google photos backup is available through Google Support.

iOS Cleanup Utilities

iCloud Backup

Every device that uses iOS is offered 5GB of free storage space through iCloud. Backing up your media files stored on your mobile devices can free up a large amount of space, but are still accessible through the Cloud. More information about iCloud is available through Apple Support.

Clear Safari Cache

Over time, the data stored in your mobile device's web browser can take up a lot of space.

  1. Open up the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap Safari.
  3. Scroll to the bottom and tap Advanced.
  4. Tap on Website Data. This will allow you to see the total amount of space used by your website data.
  5. Scroll to the bottom and tap Remove Website Data.
    Note: This will remove all the saved passwords in your device. Ensure that you have your internet passwords memorized before you delete your web data.