It is easy to lose track of storage on your computer, tablet, or smartphone if you are not careful. One day, you might check the drive state and realize that there are only a couple of free gigabytes left on it.
The problem with this is that insufficient storage leads to performance problems. And as you continue using the device, the available space shrinks. You need to take a proactive approach to counter this issue.
There are multiple ways to consider when you are trying to determine what the best method is, so we narrowed down the best courses of action into 4 categories. Let’s take a look at each of them in detail.
Table of Contents
1. Seek External Storage Alternatives
While deleting files from the device permanently is a good option, you likely have more than a fair share of files that you want to keep with you. For example, pictures you take on your smartphone or important work documents on your computer.
Well, you can still keep the files around, but without using the device’s drive. External storage is a great alternative, and it should be one of the first things to consider when you are looking to deal with storage problems.
Right now, among macOS users, it is popular to map a network drive on mac. The method is a somewhat better alternative than using an external hard drive or a USB flash stick, but the two should not be discarded either.
Getting an external HDD is relatively cheap these days, and an accessory that offers you as much as a few terabytes of storage should be enough for a long time.
Other than physical accessories, there are cloud services that you can leverage as a digital storage option. iCloud, Dropbox, and Google Drive are a few examples of such services, though you can also find more choices.
For some, clouds are superior to HDDs or flash sticks because you can manage files digitally. In other words, you do not have to deal with physical accessories.
On the other hand, you will likely need to pay a monthly fee because a few gigabytes that cloud services provide for free are usually not enough.
One final thing to note about these external storage options is that in addition to freeing up your device’s space, you can also use them as a means to back up data.
2. Keep an Eye on Malware
Keeping an eye on potential malware attacks is another important aspect to consider. Sometimes, your device might get infected with cybersecurity threats. Some of these threats slowly consume the drive’s space.
Unless you scan the device using a reliable antivirus tool, you will struggle to find the source of this problem.
As a rule of thumb, make sure that your computer, smartphone, or tablet has an antivirus tool that can scan the system and eliminate detected threats.
3. Remove Redundant Junk
You need to get in the habit of deleting redundant files from the devices before there are too many and you cannot keep up.
Take email attachments, for example. When you double-click on an email attachment, it downloads itself on the device by default (unless you change settings).
Next, you have temporary system junk. Caches, extensions, backups, and other temporary storage that accumulates regularly is also something you need to delete now and then.
Another thing to note is desktop shortcuts. Some like to keep files on a computer’s desktop, for instance, because it is convenient. However, these files are extra problems to the overall storage issue, nor do they help with a device’s performance.
The bottom line is that there are different kinds of redundant data you should track closer and get rid of when you can.
4. Use Streaming Services
The last bit of advice concerns those who like to hoard media files on their devices. And by media, we mostly mean music, movies, and TV shows.
These days, it is not necessary to overburden your computer with media files when you have access to streaming platforms. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and other services continue to produce original shows and movies and add already released titles.
Spotify is great for music, and the premium to eliminate the ads is relatively cheap. YouTube could also be considered an option, though it would mean having another browser tab active if you want to listen to some tunes.
Sure, streaming sites are not free, but the way things work in the world right now, they are the go-to option for media consumption. The convenience makes the investment worth it, and if they help you with storage problems, then there are even more reasons to stick to streaming platforms instead of keeping large files on your computer.