When acquiring a new PC, you may have the luxury of fast speeds, an upgrade in OS or user experience and most importantly, a huge storage capacity. A few years down the road, your computer starts to lose speed and the natural way to salvage the situation is probably to start removing, deleting and uninstalling applications.
Yet try as you might, you notice that you are not getting any of the space back. Why? Chances are, there are files that cannot be removed by mere uninstallation; system log files and cache files, to begin with. To do that, you need to find software that can help you scan, detect and find these space-hogging files so you can get them out of the system.
The good news is there are plenty of such apps to be found online, to top it all off, many of them are free. Here are four multiple-solution applications to help you reclaim storage space in your PC.
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A file-scanning software that scans through all the files in your hard disk and arranges them nicely in customizable file display colors and filters in rectangle sizes that represent the file size. You can then determine which files are taking the most space in your computer and take action on them from within this software.
SpaceSniffer includes drag-and-drop support, zoomable elements, temp-file tagging, multiple scans, and doesn’t require installation. It’ll refresh every few seconds to show you in real-time the data transfer that occurs in your hard disk. As per the speed, interface, and GUI, it is easily one of the best software in its category.
DoubleKiller locates every duplicate file that exists in your hard disk via 4 criterions: file name, file size, last modified date and content. The whole file will be scanned to ensure that it is an exact duplicate, so to cut down on the scanning time, you can exclude files, limit the search to specific file formats, or specific directories.
The results of the scans will be presented to you and you get to choose to delete all the duplicates or store them up in a separate folder (which is actually recommended).
The program also advises against running it on the Windows directory as some duplicates are necessary for the system to work. You should only delete files that you know you don’t need two or more copies of. There is a pro version with more features, compare them here.
SlimCleaner is a fast PC cleaning software and optimizer, but on top of that it also tells you which software to keep or to remove. Its community of users will provide ratings of software, giving you reasons to Keep or Remove particular software.
Similarly, you can give your ratings to these software by joining in anonymously, with your Facebook account or with a free SlimWare Utilities account.
As a tool for PC maintenance, it serves its users well in terms of drive optimizer, disk tools, windows tools and hijack log. It can also help you find duplicated files, check and update your many applications and software so you don’t have to.
The largest collection of files in your hard disk is most probably your photos! And they just sit there taking up space while waiting for your next round of let’s remember the old times. So why not compress them into a different format that takes up smaller space with no loss in quality?
PNGGauntlet converts JPG, GIF, TIFF and BMP files to PNG with Ultra-configurable settings for best results.
It combines PNGOUT, OptiPNG and DeflOpt to churn out your pictures in the smallest PNGs. This software is fairly easy to use, you just need to set the ‘Output Directory‘, drag your images inside PNGGauntlet and click optimize.
This will be especially useful for those who dabble with cameras and photography and never seem to have enough space for all their pictures.
Here are more ways to reclaim some free storage space if you don’t know already.
- Get more physical storage – Sometimes it is easier to just relocate files to a separate, extra storage space, e.g. an external hard disk.
- Leveraging on Cloud Storages– If getting physical storage for you is a hassle, try cloud storages as an alternative, many of them provide free storage by just signing up for an account.
- Use web-based software – Instead of relying on software in your PC, why not use Web-based software that works like your desktop does, getting the job done without taking up storage space.
- Files compression – Do consider compressing your files into a smaller size that can later be decompressed. Go for popular ones like Winrar and 7-zip.