Have you recently noticed that your hard drive is getting close to being full? Or are you looking to install a new game that requires more space than you have available?
Whatever the case, if you’re looking to get more storage on your PC, we’ll go over how exactly you can do that.
Reclaim the Space on Your Drives
If you’re looking to get more storage on your PC, the first and cheapest thing you can do is reclaim the space on your drives.
Uninstall Unused Games and Apps
The first way to reclaim the space on your drives is to uninstall unused programs and games you have on your system. This can be a great way to take back space, especially if you have a large Steam library that you don’t play through.
Also Read: Best Free Steam Games to Play
You can use the built-in Windows uninstaller to uninstall programs by going to the Settings app (Windows key + I) and clicking on Apps.
From here, scroll through the app list and click the Uninstall button next to each program you want to uninstall.
Alternatively, you can also use a program like Bulk Crap Uninstaller to do this more quickly and remove leftovers as well.
Clean Up Temporary and Junk Files
The next thing you can do is clean temporary and junk files. To start, first go to File Explorer and select This PC to see your drives. Then, right-click on the drive you want to clean up and select Properties.
Now click Disk Cleanup.
Next, check each of the boxes next to the category of files you want to delete. If you click the Clean up system files button, you can also delete other things like leftover Windows update files, which can free up a bit of space.
Finally, click OK and wait for the computer to finish cleaning up the files.
Alternatively, you can use other programs to clean up temporary and junk files as well. One commonly cited program is CCleaner, which does exactly that. But a better alternative is BleachBit, a free, open source alternative.
Delete Large Unused Files
In the same vein as uninstalling games, large unused files can easily hog space on your drives. Deleting large unused files is easy enough. But what about finding them? Well, a simple tool such as WinDirStat is a great way to scan your drives to find these files.
Offload Backups to the Cloud
If you use cloud storage like OneDrive or Google Drive, then you can easily offload your backups and unused files to the cloud. Of course, if you want to store any meaningful amount of files in the cloud, you’ll need to pay. But it’s a safe and easy way to expand your storage space.
Adding More Storage to Your Computer
If you’ve done all you can do to trim up your drives, but you still need more storage on your PC, then you’ll need to add extra storage to your computer. Fortunately, PC storage is cheaper now than ever before, and you have plenty of options.
If you have a built-in SD card slot on your desktop or laptop, then adding an SD card for extra storage is an option. They’re generally cheap and small enough to add storage without adding extra bulk to your PC.
However, due to the nature of flash memory, they have limited write cycles. They’re also made with lower-tier flash storage, and often don’t include wear-leveling controllers, making them more susceptible to data loss than SSDs and HDDs.
They’re also slower than internal storage, so you won’t want to game off of them. But if you want to add storage for non-essential files, such as music and videos, then they’re a good budget option.
USB Flash Drive
If you don’t have an SD card slot, but want to add some cheap extra storage, then a USB drive is another option. Like SD cards, they aren’t the best option for critical data. But it’s certainly a cheap and easy way to add some extra room.
USB Hard Drive/SSD
If you want external storage that’s faster and more reliable than SD cards and USB flash drives, then an external hard drive or solid state drive is the way to go. As for which one you’ll want, it depends on your situation.
Without getting into it too much, hard drives are larger and cheaper, but slower and more physically prone to damage than SSDs. Meanwhile, SSDs are more volatile (with limited write capacity), but are much faster and more resistant to physical abuse.
Adding Internal Storage
One of the best ways to add storage to your computer is to add internal storage. This can mean either adding more hard drives/SSDs to your computer, or replacing your current drive(s) with larger capacity drives.
If you’re tight on space, remember that you can always replace unused DVD drives on your computer with hard drives. For desktops, this could mean getting a 5.25-inch to 3.5-inch drive adapter, and potentially a PCIe to SATA card (if you don’t have available SATA slots on your motherboard). For laptops, there are also device-specific DVD-to-hard drive adapters.
Use a NAS Server
Last, but certainly not least, you can also use a NAS server to house files on your home network. This will require the most money and effort to achieve, but the result is being able to store and access your files from your network.
A NAS server can also easily serve other purposes, such as being a personal cloud storage or Plex media server, just to name a couple.