Whether this blog article finds you on National Clean Out Your Computer Day, or your New Year’s resolution is to declutter, you’ve likely already encountered a “full storage” message on one or many of your smart devices. As we download more content and stream our favorite shows, the storage on PCs, mobile devices, and hard drives inevitably increases. If you’re one of the many users confronted with the task of creating more space on your device, you’re not alone. Below we offer some steps that can teach you how to increase phone storage and how to free up space on a PC.

A mother helps her teenage daughter free up space on the PC she uses for schoolwork

How to free up space on PCs and Macs

One of the easiest ways to free up storage on your PC starts with cleaning up the disk. You can delete temporary files or recycled items that have been rejected that now sit on your disk. Several PCs use Windows 10. If that’s the case for your PC, follow these steps:

  1. Go to your taskbar, which can usually be found on the bottom left-hand side of your screen with a magnifying glass icon. Search “disk cleanup” and Select it from the results.
  2. Click on the drive you would like to empty or clean up, and then Select OK.
  3. Find Files to delete and Select the files you’d like to delete. To find out more about the type of file it is, simply select it for more information.
  4. Click OK.

For Apple product owners, such as a Mac, the process is a bit different. Your Mac can offer “Storage Management” recommendations to help optimize your storage. To find out what might be the best option for you, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Apple Menu and find About This Mac
  2. Click on Storage
  3. Select the Manage button to the right
  4. Browse the recommendations your computer offers to optimize your storage. You might notice “Storage in iCloud,” which will prompt you to take the next appropriate steps to use your iCloud, or you might see recommendations such as “Empty Trash Automatically.”
  5. Follow the recommended steps based on how your storage is being affected.Regardless of whether you have a PC or an Apple product, there are a few other generic ways to clear up storage on your hard drive and disk. Consider the following:
  • Remove any downloads you no longer need. Your downloads can take up a lot of space on a hard drive, especially if you’re downloading many videos, photos, and other large media files. Select the ones you’d like to delete by visiting your Downloads folder.
  • Empty Recycle or Trash Bins
  • Uninstall or remove apps and programs you no longer use.
  • Remove unnecessary files from your Desktop (then don’t forget to empty your trash/recycle bin)

How to increase phone storage

Like PCs and laptops, our phones can easily hold a large amount of data and files that we no longer use. Holding onto these large quantities of pictures, videos, and apps may make your device slower or make it difficult to download files in the future. Here are a few tips for iOS and Android users to use in order to increase phone storage.

  • Identify what’s taking up the most space on your smartphone.
    • iOS users: Navigate to Settings > General > iPhone Storage and take a look at the storage dashboard. After finding where you are using the most storage, delete or clear your phone in those particular areas. This could be apps using your location, your email, etc.
    • Android users: Navigate to Settings > Storage and take a look at how your storage is distributed in your phone. You might also see an option that states “Free up Space” to see what files your device recommends you remove. Follow your phone’s instructions to navigate to the recommended sections.
  • Another easy direction to take to increase phone storage is to start with your photos and videos. Chances are, you have hundreds, if not thousands, of images and videos you’ve recorded or downloaded that are taking up space in your smartphone. To increase storage, do the following:
  • Back up your photos and video to the cloud. There are even apps, such as Google Photos, that you can move all of your images and videos to in order to free up space on your device.
  • Delete or off-load any unused apps. Just because an app isn’t in use doesn’t mean it’s not using up storage space. Delete any games, apps, or tools you no longer use. Re-downloading off-loaded pages is easy if you’d like it back at another time.

Keeping your devices tidy from a surplus of downloads, images, and media can help your device remain efficient. We hope these tips and suggestions on how to increase phone storage and computer storage helps you make the most of your devices. For more information on tech topics such as these, be sure to visit the CenturyLink blog.

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