Running out of storage on a smartphone or computer is quite common, especially when you are not careful about what files you keep on these devices. Or rather, when you are not paying enough attention to the data and end up with just a few gigabytes of free space.

As a rule of thumb, at least 20 percent of the total available storage should be free. This percentage, however, is pretty arbitrary, and it is recommended to aim for even more free space on your computer or mobile device.

Not enough free space leads to performance issues. The device becomes sluggish and takes longer to load. In some cases, certain applications might fail to launch or even crash in the middle of your session.

If you want to avoid potential storage problems, consider the following tips. The information below should come in handy.

Delete Redundant Files

Over time, you are bound to notice the accumulation of redundant files. From applications and various downloads to video games you no longer play and old media, there are different types of files that take up a significant amount of digital device space.

Deleting some files is a given. In case you are uncertain as to whether you should keep a file on the device or not, remember that you still have the option to transfer it to external storage.

Or, as an alternative, if it is data that you can get back, deleting it for the time being should not be that much of an issue, especially when you want to focus on freeing up storage. Take video games, for example. If you stop playing a video game and have no idea whether you will return to playing it, why not delete it and move on? Once you get the desire to play again, you can download and install the game again.

Images are another good example. Those who have a habit of transferring photos from their camera or smartphone to a computer are bound to encounter storage issues.

Pay attention and delete photos on Mac or Windows computers on a regular basis, especially if you have those same images on other devices already.

Use External Storage

One of the first things you need to do is consider which files you can transfer to a different location. There is no need to hoard every single file on the device when you can utilize external storage.

If you prefer a more digital approach, cloud services are the go-to option. Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive, and other cloud platforms let you move data from your device to a dedicated server. 

You can modify certain files inside the cloud instead of needing to transfer them back to your smartphone or computer. Moreover, users can also sync their cloud accounts with multiple devices simultaneously.

One of the drawbacks of using clouds is the fact that you only get access to a few gigabytes of storage. That is hardly enough. Users have to pay a monthly or yearly fee to gain more storage.

Besides clouds, physical storage accessories are also a good choice. USB flash sticks or hard drives are relatively cheap. You can pick from a plethora of different options with different storage capacities. 

Avoid Media Clutter

The days of hoarding media on your computer or smartphone are no longer here. Instead of keeping movies, TV shows, and music, you can switch to a more modern approach.

Streaming platforms are convenient to use because you can access media with just a few clicks. In addition, there is no need to bother downloading files and cluttering your device. 

Sure, you will need an internet connection to view or listen to content, but these days, most people who are on computers or mobile devices have permanent internet access anyway, so that should not be a problem.

Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, HBO, Amazon, and Spotify are some of the most notable streaming platforms, with more services emerging. The competition between these services also encourages them to produce original content to attract users.

Ultimately, if large media files are causing you significant storage issues, then switching to streaming services is bound to make a significant difference.

Consider Cybersecurity Threats

The last bit of advice is to consider the fact that your device might be infected with malware. Certain cybersecurity threats can slowly develop and consume free storage. Depending on how fast the consumption is, you might fail to identify the issue. 

It is better to be safe than sorry. Therefore, make sure to use a reliable antivirus tool to scan the device and confirm that there are no corrupted files. And if the scan reveals corrupted data, get rid of it as soon as you can.

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