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University of Tartu IT wiki

In this guide, you will find instructions on how to make more space on your computer during digital cleaning.


A lot of people like to keep documents, folders and files on the computer home screen – the Desktop. So different icons tend to pile up and finding something becomes increasingly more difficult and time-consuming.

  • Delete unnecessary files.
  • Sort necessary files into respective catalogues so you know and understand where everything is located.
  • Make sure the names of folders and files make sense and are easily understandable for the user.

When a file is deleted, it remains on the hard drive. It is relocated to the recycle bin in case you need to retrieve it. Depending on how it has been configured, the Recycle Bin can start to use up a lot a space over time. To empty recycle bin click on it with right mouse button and select "Empty Recycle Bin".

By default, all downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder. If may happen that a file gets saved in the folder again and again. Therefore, it is a good idea to take a moment and think about whether the file you are using needs to be stored. If it turns out that you do not need the file on your computer, delete it after using.

  • Cloud services are a good way to store data securely, access it any time from any device and save space.
  • Google Drive,Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft Sharepoint and Dropbox offer the option to connect your computer to the cloud, so that you will have a new folder on computer that is synced to the cloud. More information: Microsoft OneDrive
  • You can also use these services in a browser and upload files to the cloud manually.

  • To save documents to OneDrive online, log into Office portal
  • Your files are saved on the web and also to the OneDrive folder on your computer
  • Saving your files to the OneDrive folder allows you to work both online and offline, so your changes are synced when you reconnect to the internet.

Saving a file to OneDrive:

  1. If you have an open document in an Office application, click on File >Save As > OneDrive.
  2. If you have not logged in, do it now by clicking on Sign In. If you have not registered a Microsoft account, click on Sign Up.
  3. After signing up or logging in, save the document to OneDrive.

The OneDrive website allows accessing the files in OneDrive from any computer, tablet or smartphone.

  • Over time, different programs tend to be added to the computer. Some come with different downloads for free and will not find use later on.
  • Often, new programs are added when the computer is connected to a device that offers, in addition to drivers, several different programs for installation. This is very common with printers.
  • At one point, the computer may become cluttered with programs that are not used, not necessary or were last used very long ago, but are still active on the background and slow down the computer.
  • To remove such unnecessary programs, Windows 10 users should go to Settings Apps and remove the unnecessary programs on the list by clicking on Uninstall.

Note:  Uninstalling software requires administrator’s rights.

  • Windows 10 has the built-in clean-up tool Storage Sense.
  1. Go to Settings > System Storage.
  2. Click on “Configure Storage Sense or run it now”.
  3. Scroll down and click on Clean Now.
  • On this page, you can also configure the way you want the temporary files connected to applications to be deleted or set up automatic emptying of the Downloads folder after the period you choose.
  • For the users of older versions, such as Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, the best option for drive cleaning is probably the free Disk Cleanup.
  • You you do not like Storage Sense for some reason, Disk Cleanup is also available for Windows 10. After an update, a built-in drive cleaner can remove old Windows install files and free up dozens of GBs of space.

To access the drive cleaner, just type in Disk Cleanup in the search box.

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