How to Increase Computer Memory
How to Increase Computer Memory – Image Credits

Purchasing an external hard drive or a USB drive is one way to increase the available space on a computer, but buying extra room certainly isn’t the cheapest way to accomplish this goal. After a person owns a computer for a few years, a hard drive often becomes filled with media, files, and programs. Fortunately, there are a variety of methods available to increase computer storage without requiring the purchase of any new hardware.

How to Increase Computer Memory For Free?

1. Clean the Disk

Although it’s not necessary to take a wet rag and some Windex to a hard drive, cleaning the disk is usually the best way to find space. Over time, files that aren’t used start to take up unnecessary room. To clean the disk, follow these steps:

  • Open “My Computer”
  • Right-Click on the icon for the disk drive that requires cleaning
  • Choose “Properties” from the list
  • Run “Disk Cleanup” option
  • On the resulting page, choose the items you’d like to delete

Note: It’s also possible to type “Disc Cleanup” into the search bar on the Windows icon to find this procedure.

2. Defragment the Disk

Sometimes called, “defragging,” this option should be part of regular computer use and is best handled at least once a year (however, every six months is usually best). The way in which a computer “saves” data is often messy and uncoordinated, so a hard drive may fill up even though it’s not technically full. Defragmenting the disk means that the computer will put all the files back where they belong, much like organizing a closet where all the shoes will go on their rack and all the clothing will be hung up neatly.

  • Open “My Computer”
  • Right-Click the icon for the disk drive that requires cleaning
  • Choose “Properties” from the list Select “Tools”
  • Choose the “Defragmentation” option on the list

Note: As with Disk Cleanup, this option may be found through a search through the Windows icon.

3. Dump the Recycle Bin

Most computer users send their deleted files to the “recycle bin” instead of deleting those files outright and completely. After a few months or years, that recycle bin might become exceptionally full and may take up several megabytes (or gigabytes!) of space.

Emptying the recycle bin is simple and just requires the user to right-click on the Recycle Bin icon on the computer desktop. The words “Empty Recycle Bin” should appear as one of the options.

4. Clear the Cache

Each time a person surfs the internet and visits web pages, data is stored on the computer for future use so as to aid in swifter load times the next time that page is visited. For slow computers that try to access graphics-heavy pages, the temporary internet files may take up a lot of room.

  • Open the “Tools” or “Settings” menu through the computer’s internet browser
  • Select Internet Properties > Delete Files for Internet Explorer; or
  • Select History > Clear Browsing Data with Chrome; or
  • Select Network > Clear Now for Cached Web Content through Firefox

It’s best to accomplish all of these simple steps for increasing disk space so as to ensure the greatest possible amount of reclaimed space on the hard drive. Fortunately, each step is very easy and takes nothing more than a little time for the computer to do its work and free up those valuable megabytes.

Aubrey Phelps is a writer for She has done internet marketing for six years and loves learning about new technology.