What is taking up my hard drive space?

Data EatingMost of us with at least Windows XP or Mac Leopard have at least 200 gigabytes of storage. That is a lot. But a lot of us tend to eat this up easily. How?

1. Video

The number one killer of hard drive space is video. Most videos of about 10 minutes shot on a normal camera tend to be around 200MB to 1GB. If you have a folder where you store your videos in, delete those videos and back them up to Facebook video or YouTube. YouTube offers 720p video, which is more than enough. If you want it locally (although in this time you really don't need that) you should either get an external hard drive (this one is only 60 dollars for 500 GB and is from a very reliable company) or burn the videos onto some DVD's. (The Memorex 4.7Gb/16x DVD-R (50-Pack Spindle) is a great deal for only $9.99. That's about 5 cents per gigabyte!)

2. Photos

With all of these 10.1 megapixel point-and-shoots coming out, photos are becoming larger than ever. My mom's new Nikon point-and-shoot makes 5 megabyte pictures. My dad's DSLR Nikon D90 comes out with 12 megabyte pictures. Easily one 1000-photo vacation can take up about 10GB. While not nearly as space-hogging as video, pictures do come out to be huge. Try the backup methods for the video posted above.

3. Temp folder (Windows only)

Try to find your Temp folder and see how big it is. Just go to Run and type in "%TEMP%" (without the quotes). Then highlight everything and delete. It's that easy. It got rid of 900GB of crap on one of my computers.

4. Recycle Bin/Trash

Empty it regularly! It takes up as much space as the files you trashed.

What doesn't take up much space:

  • Applications -- the biggest ones like WoW and Guild Wars take 10GB max. Unless you have an application full of video.
  • Music -- 3000 songs amounts to about 20 GB. Avoid FLAC files -- they are about 40MB a piece! (10 times as large as normal audio)


Delete your unused files! You don't need all of that video and photos on your computer.

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