The available space on a hard disk seems to be enormous when you first get a laptop, but it’s stunning how quickly you can fill up. 500GB seems huge if you’ve been using computers for years, only a few years ago 100GB was deemed roomy. HD quality video and enormous music collections have, it seems, expanded to fill the space on hard disks.

It’s easier than you think to fill up a hard disk, but there’s plenty you can do to keep on top of the space hogging files and ensure that there’s plenty of room available for more. Naturally, making sure you empty the Recycle Bin will free up space quickly – right click on the Recycle Bin and select Empty Recycle Bin from the drop-down menu. If you prefer you can have the Recycle Bin automatically delete any files or folders you drag to it. Right click on the Recycle Bin and select Properties, then select the Don’t move files to the Recycle Bin. Remove files immediately when deleted option.

Another way to free up your disk space is to uninstall the applications you never use. PCs come loaded with free apps and trials many of which you might not use. If you leave them there all they are doing is wasting space. To remove an app go to Search and type Add or remove programs and then click on that option when it appears. Here you’ll see a list of all the software on your PC , simply select it and then click on Uninstall to remove it and get your disk space back.

One other way to save space on your laptop is to store files online through services such as Skydrive. Keeping those files and folders you only use every so often on a remote service like this makes perfect sense and saves space on your local hard disk. 

Visit the Dell Tech Zone for more advice on family computing.