Save Disk Space by using Disk Cleanup Part 2

Many newer computers and devices have only a little bit of hard drive space.  While the cloud helps with this you can also save disk space by using Disk Cleanup.  This is part 2 I highly suggest Compressing your Hard Drive first then using Disk Cleanup.

Just a reminder to back up your data if you have not already or not done it in a long time.  No one wants to lose anything.

Before you begin you will want to update Windows as Disk Cleanup deletes backed up system files from Windows updates and from performing a Windows upgrade (like from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1).

While Disk Cleanup has been part of Windows forever it will be most effective in updated versions of Windows 7 and later including Windows RT.  This will free up space in Windows XP and Windows Vista but is not able to remove the backed up Windows update files.

If you completed the steps in part 1 then bring up the Hard Drive Properties window again and click on Disk Cleanup.  If not then just click on Start and in the search box type in Cleanmgr.exe (Start and then Run in Windows XP or in Windows 8 and 8.1 Start and then just start typing as it will search automatically).  You can also try looking in Start, All Programs, Accessories, and then System Tools in the Start Menu.

If you have multiple hard drives you will want to select the one that Windows is installed on usually C: and then click OK, this will not come up if you open Disk Cleanup from the hard drive properties window.  Once you open Disk Cleanup it will take some time looking for temporary files to delete, just wait a bit till the main window pops up from there we will configure some settings.  Once the Disk Cleanup window has opened click on Clean Up System Files.  It will again scan for temporary files to delete but this time it will also look for other system temporary files and Windows update backups.

Disk Cleanup System Files

Disk Cleanup System Files

Once the Disk Cleanup window comes back up again you will want to click on a new tab called More Options.

Disk Cleanup More Options

Disk Cleanup More Options

Now from here click on Clean Up… under System Restore and Shadow Copies.  This will delete all but the most recent System Restore point.  Wait a second or two and then click on the Disk Cleanup tab again.  If nothing happens the system is still deleting old System Restore information wait a while longer and then try again.

Disk Cleanup System Restore and Shadow Copies Clean Up

Disk Cleanup System Restore and Shadow Copies Clean Up

Once you are back on the Disk Cleanup tab make sure all the check boxes are checked and then click on OK.  A dialogue box will come up and then click Delete Files.  It will take some time but these files will be deleted.  In part 3 we will tame System Restore permanently.

Save Disk Space by Compressing Your Hard Drive Part 1

Many newer computers and tablets that came out this holiday season have limited storage, sometimes as low as 16 GB hard drives.  Thankfully there are some tricks in Windows that will maximize your disk space and over the next few posts I will help show you how to put that disk on a diet.  First lets look at how to save disk space by compressing your hard drive.  This should work for just about all versions of Windows going way back (Windows 95 or 98 I believe) it is an old trick but it works. This also works in Windows RT.

Before you do any of these tricks I suggest you back up your data, I have had great success with these tricks but I would hate to see someone lose something that is important for any reason.

First start by opening up File Explorer (Windows Explorer) and click on This PC (My Computer) and then right-click on your hard drive (you may have more than one, Do this on the one that Windows is installed on).  Then click on Properties.

 

Hard Drive Properties

Hard Drive Properties

Once the Hard Drive Properties window opens you will want to check the box next to Compress This Drive To Save Disk Space and then click Apply. A Dialogue box will open asking you to confirm, make sure Apply Changes to drive Subfolders and Files is selected and then click OK.  You may have an error pop up just click on Ignore All.  Then sit back and wait as this will take some time to complete.  If your device runs on a battery plug it in as this can drain a battery fast.  It will take a while but it will free up a lot of space.

Compress Drive to Save Disk Space

Compress Drive to Save Disk Space

Once done I always suggest restarting your computer or device.  After that if you bring up the Hard Drive Properties window again you can click on Disk Cleanup for Part 2.

30 Days with Windows RT on a Surface RT, 90 Days Later

So after I started my 30 days with Windows RT on a Surface RT challenge I had a few issues with the site and was distracted, however I continued the challenge and have been for a while.  Now some 90 days later I have to give you my conclusions.

For those of you not familiar with it, Windows RT is an ARM based version of Microsoft Windows 8.X that powers the Microsoft Surface RT, Surface 2 and other tablets.  Unlike the X86 and X64 based traditional Windows versions you can not use any desktop software other than what is already on the tablet.

So after using the Surface RT for over 90 days as my main computing device I have made a conclusion I never thought I would…I do not need my laptop anymore!  Yeah I was shocked.  There are a few reasons why that I think set Windows RT apart from Windows Phone (which I also use)

So why was I so able to get comfortable with Windows RT, simple, because it really is Windows.  As much as some people say it is not, it is Windows and is very feature complete.  A lot of tricks work as they would on any version of Windows.  That being said even thought there are a lot of great apps in the Windows Store you do find yourself wanting to be able to do or use something that there is no app for and on Windows RT this is not really a problem as almost every website out there works just as well on Windows RT as it does in Windows.  This is fine on a tablet where you have a full size screen and is just as familiar as a laptop because of the software it runs, but on Windows Phone I have not found the web to be much of a help simply because most mobile sites are terrible and full desktop sites can be hard to use on such a small screen.

There is another strong point that helps Windows RT.  Full Remote Desktop support from both a Windows Store app and mstsc.exe just like in any Windows version.  I have often used Remote Desktop to connect to my desktop computer to use software on there that I can not on in Windows RT.

At this point I have no intention of using my laptop again and I would say that a Surface RT or other tablet running Windows RT will work better than any other tablet on the market the only exception being ones that actually run traditional Windows.  I will also say that Windows RT tablets will work perfect for most computer users out there today because lets face it, we check out Facebook, email, and play flash games online till we get tired of bored and start watching Netflix.  You do not need a computer to do this, and maybe you can’t do it all on an iPad or Android tablet (flash support is not always there) but in Windows RT, you have flash support, you can install printers and print with your tablet, connect thousands of accessories through USB, and the Surface RT and Surface 2 both have micro HDMI out so you can connect to a TV or projector.

So if you are willing to learn and figure it out you will find a Windows RT device to be a great mobile computing solution and may find that like me you do not need a laptop anymore especially if you have a desktop computer at home or work.  I will be posting some articles with tips and tricks for Windows RT in the coming weeks that will help people out and the best thing, they all work on any Windows 8.X machine out there.  I really do love using this device.

30 Days With Windows RT on a Microsoft Surface RT

This past Black Friday there were many great deals out there including some on the Microsoft Surface RT.  Both Best Buy and Microsoft had the 32Gb Surface RT on sale for around $200. No to mention I also saw it being sold with a touch cover for around $230 to $250 at other stores.  Well I had to jump on the chance to get one of these devices for many reasons if not for the fact that they are kind of a unique computing device.  So I picked one up from a Best Buy in Las Vegas and got a Type 2 Cover with it.  I know, I spent more than half of the total cost of the Surface RT on that Type 2 Cover but I think it was worth it.

After using this for a few days though I have to admit, I think this could replace my laptop almost full time.  Windows RT is just that good enough.  Of course it is also a year later so much has changed from a year ago and it does not hurt that Windows RT looks and works almost exactly like Windows 8, which I have used for over a year so I know a thing or two about it.  When I installed Windows 8 on my laptop it took me all of 10 minuets to know I could use that Windows operating system full-time, but without support for any desktop applications on windows RT can I really use the Surface RT like I use Windows 8 on my desktop and laptop?

So for the next 30 days I will only use the Microsoft Surface RT for my computing needs.  I will write many articles to help some of you out there that also picked up one of these devices and I will write about my usage every so often.  I think this will be an interesting month.

So for my first note about the Surface RT, I wrote this whole article on it using only the default touch on-screen keyboard.  Yeah its going to be an interesting month.  So make sure to subscribe to the blog, or follow Useful Windows on Facebook or Twitter and see how I do this month.