Freeing up disk space: A guide to organizing and managing your files

Freeing up disk space: A guide to organizing and managing your files

Is your work computer running out of storage space? Do you find yourself constantly deleting files to make room for new ones? If so, it's time to get organized so you can free up some disk space and find the files you need more easily.

To help you out in this endeavor, we've compiled five useful Windows 11 file organization and management tips:

1. Delete unnecessary files

There's no point in organizing unwanted files and applications, so start by going through your computer to see if there are any you can delete. Look for duplicate files, old versions of documents, and unused applications, which all take up disk space.

Take note that after right-clicking and selecting Delete on your unwanted files, they still technically exist on your hard drive. You need to empty your Recycle Bin to permanently delete these files, otherwise, they will continue to take up disk space.

Next, review all the programs installed on your computer. Manufacturers typically preload new computers with programs (i.e., bloatware) that consume disk space, such as:

  • Games
  • Weather apps
  • Map or navigation apps
  • Music and video players

Consider if such bloatware and other apps are worth the space they're taking up. If not, then uninstall them.

Finally, use the built-in disk cleanup tool that’s standard in modern computers. This tool helps you clean up junk files without accidentally removing important files.

Read also: 5 Common habits that shorten PC life span

2. Organize files into folders

To make it easier to find files, sort them into folders. You can do this according to topic, project, date range, or any other criterion that’s helpful to you. For example, if you’re working on multiple projects at the same time, create a folder for each project and keep all related documents within that particular project's folder. Categorizing your files into folders will help you quickly find them as the number of files you have grows.

3. Rename files and folders

Naming files and folders in a way that makes sense to you can be a huge time saver. You don't have to be overly creative; just make sure the name is clear enough that you know what's inside the file without having to open it. Take note that you don’t have to add information such as date modified and file type to file and folder names since you can easily view such metadata on File Explorer. When you open a File Explorer window, simply right-click on the file or folder and then select View > Content.

It’s best to use a consistent naming convention for your files and folders to make it easier to locate specific items. For example, you can use the same delimiter in all your file and folder names. This could be a hyphen (-), an underscore (_), or any other character you prefer.

Use a consistent naming convention for your files and folders to make it easier to locate specific items.

It’s best to use abbreviations in file and folder names due to name length limitations in cloud storage locations. And make sure to spell file and folder names correctly so that they'll appear in searches.

4. Compress data

If you need to keep large files on your work computer, consider compressing them to reduce their file size without affecting their quality. To do this, right-click on the file or folder you want to compress and then select Compress to ZIP file.

5. Leverage cloud storage solutions

Instead of storing all your files in your work computer, use cloud storage solutions, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and Apple iCloud. By doing so, you can free up disk space while also making your files accessible on any internet-connected device.

For your cloud storage and other IT requirements, you can turn to Quicktech. Since 1998, we’ve been providing Vancouver companies with comprehensive IT services. Let us do the same for you. Book a FREE consultation with us.