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How to Get More Storage on a Laptop

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It’s quite common for computer users to max out their storage space. This may make the laptop to be slower than normal and affect the general performance. If this happens, you will need more space for your files. In this article, we will show you exactly how to get more storage on a laptop without having to delete important files.

How to Get More Storage on a Laptop

To get more storage on a laptop, you’ll either have to delete files to create space or add more storage with SSDs or HDDs. You can also use external storage such as flash discs or opt to store your files on the cloud as opposed to locally on your laptop. 

Close up of laptop ports

Adding More Storage

Most laptops these days include the option of SSD storage, which stores information in microchips. SSDs (Solid-state drives) are faster in their read/write speed compared to previously used HDDs. Granted, HDDs (Hard disk drives) are slower and noisier because of their spinning metal disks, however, they are significantly cheaper at this time, compared to SSDs.

In most laptops, you can have yours with SSDs, HDDs, or a combination of the two storage types. Let’s look at that in more detail below.

SSDs Only

If you bought a laptop recently, it likely has an SSD drive. For this reason, your PC feels more responsive as programs launch faster than they would if stored on a slower mechanical hard disk drive.

Moreover, SSDs use a more minimal physical space, support more IOPS (input-output operations per second), and are highly resistant to shocks compared to HDD. 

SSD doesn’t need that much physical room, as they are 2.5 inches in size was by design, for them to accommodate the same slot size and port occupied by standard HDDs. Therefore, to shave off the clutter, nowadays you have NVMe M.2 drives that need significantly less space. They look similar to a RAM chip, and modern laptops boast of one or two PCI Express slots to insert the NVMe M.2 drive. 

HDDs Only

Almost all laptops in the market provide support for 2.5-inch HDD drive slots. If you find yours to be insufficient, easily swap it out for one with a larger capacity. As mentioned earlier, hard disk drives are cheaper than SSDs offering the equivalent amount of storage. 

Hard disk drive storage for a laptop

A major drawback to HDDs when compared to SSDs is that they use more power than the alternative. HDDs read and write data with moving mechanical parts, unlike SSDs that manipulate the same information electronically. On top of that, a hard disk drive is more prone to failure if dropped or handled roughly because of all the intricate mechanical parts.

SSD and HDD

Combining SSDs and HDDs brings the best of both storage types. With an SSD, you get faster boot times and loads, while an HDD is considerably cheaper. Combining the two types of drives is easy if your computer has a slot to insert an NVMe SSD, while the HDD rests on its regular 2.5-inch storage bay. Modern laptops usually offer this convenience.

If you have a laptop from yesteryears that do not include slots for NVMe SSDs, don’t worry since there’s a workaround. For this trick to work, you will need an HDD Caddy, SSD, and HDD. The Hard Disk Drive caddy is a case that houses the hard disk drive and fits perfectly in the bay which your optical (DVD/CD drive) would normally sit. This device allows for data transfer from the HDD, through the optical drive bay. 

Fortunately, laptops from past eras prominently feature an optical drive. Now, what you have to do is insert the solid-state drive to a 2.5-inch bay previously occupied by your laptop’s Hard Disk Drive.

With such a design, it is best to make the SSD the master drive and HDD to be slaves. What these terms (master/slave) mean is that your laptop’s OS is installed on the SSD, and HDD is used for storage. Also, install frequently used software onto the SSD to take advantage of faster read/write speeds on the drive.

Man holding a box of Samsung portable SSD T5

How Can I Increase Storage on My Laptop? 

When first buying a laptop, consider how much space you will need to store your files. Well, that’s easier said than done, and eventually, you will definitely run out of storage, whether you have large media files or Word documents.

Physical drives might soon be a thing of the past, with cloud storage. If you have a reliable internet connection, get more storage from large industry players like Google Drive and Microsoft’s one drive. These cloud storage services are not that expensive, and you can also access your files from just about anywhere and on any device.

Delete programs and bloatware you never use, to create more space. Transfer data onto an external drive to free up valuable storage space on your laptop. Also, run disk cleanup utilities to remove temporary files, clear the cache and empty the recycle bin to get more storage on a laptop.

What’s Taking Up So Much Space on My Computer?

When trying to figure out how to get more space on a laptop, the first crucial step is to identify what’s filling up your hard drive. If you are using Windows 10, you can easily take advantage of the Storage Sense feature which enables you to automatically optimize storage. 

We are going to show you how to use Storage Sense to figure out what is eating up storage space on your laptop. 

The process of identifying what’s taking up space on a laptop may vary depending on the version of your Windows 10. So we are going to quickly go through how to navigate version 1903 or later and version 1809 or earlier in order to solve the storage puzzle.

How to Identify Files that are Taking up Space on Windows 10 Version 1903 or Later

  1. On Windows 10, open Settings 
  2. Click on System then Storage 
  3. Take a look at Local Disk (C:) and you will be able to see what is eating up space on the main drive
  4. To see other types of files, click on Show more categories
  5. If you want to find out more, click on View storage usage on other drives under the More storage settings section 
  6. Under this option, you can select different hard drives to see what’s filling it up 

How to Identify Files that are Taking up Space on Windows 10 Version 1809 or Earlier 

If you are using Windows 10 version 1809 or earlier follow the steps below to figure out which files are taking up space on your laptop. 

  1. Open Settings then go to System 
  2. Click on Storage 
  3. Under the Local Storage section, click on your drive to see how you’re using your storage
  4. If you’d like to take additional actions from here you can click on each item under Storage usage 
  5. For instance, if you notice that Temporary files are eating up too much space you can click on that item and take additional action to free up space 

How Can I Get More GB on My Laptop for Free?

Now that you know what is eating up storage space on your laptop we are going to show you how to easily free up space and create more storage for new files without any cost.  In this section, we are going to focus on Windows 10’s Storage Sense and how to use it to create more space on your laptop.

We recommend that you use Storage Sense instead of Windows Disk Cleanup if you are using Windows 10 since it is much more efficient. You can either use Storage Sense manually or set it up to run automatically and do all the hard work for you. 

How to use Storage Sense Manually 

If you don’t want Storage Sense to clean your hard drives regularly or want control over which files are deleted you can choose to only use it on demand. 

Here is how to manually free up storage on your laptop using Storage Sense. 

  • Click on the Windows icon on your taskbar then open Settings
  • Click on System then select Storage 
  • Click Free space now under Storage Sense
  • Your computer will scan for temporary files that can be deleted to create more space
  • After the scan is complete, you will be presented with a list of files that are recommended for deletion. 
  • Tick the files you want to be deleted and click on Remove files
  • All temporary files will be permanently deleted.

How to Configure Storage Sense to Run Automatically

If you trust Storage Sense To do a good job of cleaning your drives, here is how to configure it to run automatically. 

  • Click on the Windows icon and then open Settings
  • Click System and select Storage option on the left side
  • Under Storage Sense click on Change how we  free up space automatically
  • Next,  choose how you want your drives to be cleaned.  That is, when Storage Sense should run, how long to run, and what to delete. 
  • After you’ve made your selections, click on the Storage Sense button to toggle it on
  • If you want to start the scan immediately you can  click on Clean now

Storage Sense will help you free up space on your laptop and create more storage for free. However, this is not a reliable way to add space to your laptop. We still recommend that you invest in a modern computer hard drive if your laptop has PCIe slots for additional storage. 

How Do I Get More Storage on My HP Laptop?

To get more storage on your HP Laptop, you can either go with the free option or invest in some reliable storage options. The free option include using Storage Sense in Windows 10 to do most of the heavy lifting for you. You can also delete some files and multimedia that you don’t need anymore to create more space.

Additionally, you can use free cloud storage such as Google Drive in order to save local space on your HP laptop. 

The paid option includes buying a hard drive. This can be either HDD or SSD based on which is more compatible with your HP laptop. You can also invest in some paid cloud storage like Dropbox. 

Conclusion

We need space in our computer for files, pictures, videos, and all manner of data. When your storage space is nearly full, your laptop will run slower and you won’t insert more data to it or even install new programs. This article gives viable options on what you can do to get more storage on a laptop.