How To Restore Disk Space Using Free Disk Cleanup Tools
Nowadays storage is relatively cheap and at the same time huge, but as the applications and multimedia files grow too by providing more features and higher quality the disk cleanup process is an important topic as always.
The best practice is to always keep an organized structure of files. Due to the busy world, today that is not always possible. Even the most pedantic individuals will sometimes extract, copy, duplicate or save an edited version of a file. As a result, it may end up in some hidden corner of the hard drive and stay forgotten for years. Such lost space can grow to gigabytes. Worst of all it will slow the overall performance of the computer due to the growing number of files. Those, of course, will affect the speed of antivirus applications. Backup applications will need to store more data. Files search and all other tools that scan the file system will need to process more data. So what are the options to restore such a system?
Analyze Folder Sizes – Remove Large Unused Files
Easy to say, but not easy to accomplish without the help of a professional tool. Folder Size Freeware is an advanced tool that can scan a system and list all files and folders sorted by size. There are neat charts that represent the distribution of disk space. You can use the pie or bar charts to navigate across the folders too.
This handy little tool is extremely fast and can scan a 128 GB SSD drive in just five seconds. A quick look at the results reveals the largest files and folders in the system. As a result, you will be able to free up gigabytes of disk space. Try and remove several video files or old backups that are stored in a hidden location. That will certainly acquire gigabytes of free space.
Besides listing the files and folders with all their properties and providing multiple sort options, Folder Size generates a bunch of handy reports. One of the best to spot wasted disk space is the “Largest files and folders” report. What it does is to list the top 50 largest files and folders inside the currently selected folder and all its sub-folders. This list is also available as separate “Largest files” and “Largest folders” reports.
Remove Useless Data – Delete Duplicate Files
Fast Duplicate File Finder is a professional tool that can identify similar and duplicate files. While this is an advanced commercial application it provides a FREE version that provides more than sufficient features for good disk cleanup. Those include the “100% Identical Files” and “Similar File Names” modes while the “Similar Files” mode is present only in the PRO version. The tool performs a real file comparison. It can identify duplicate files on a local computer or network even if they are stored with different file names.
The “Similar File Names” mode is extremely handy in identifying “Copy of CV.doc”, “CV 2013.docx”, “CV 2014.doc” types of similar file names. Using the tool is extremely simple. Add the locations to be scanned to the “Folders List”. Select a search method and hit the “Scan” button – duplicates will be listed in minutes. The results are listed in a neat grid with all their properties and all the duplicates are grouped by similarity.
There is a neat preview window for most common file formats that can be used in order to compare the files visually before deciding whether to keep or delete a copy. There are options to select files automatically by date, location, size, and so on. The duplicate files can be moved to a backup location, deleted to recycle bin or permanently erased in order to complete the disk cleanup process.
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