How to Ensure You have Enough Space on Your Devices in 2019

With downloads getting bigger. I am explaining how to ensure you have enough space on your devices in 2019 and don't exceed your monthly data limit.


Free up drive space


Free up drive space on your PC

If you fail to keep on top of your PC maintenance, your hard drive(s) can easily run out of space. There are lots of ways to free up the room, starting with the built-in Disk Cleanup and Storage Sense features. To use Disk Cleanup, type cleanup into the Windows search box, launch the tool and select the drive
clean and the areas to target.

To use Storage Sense in Windows 10, type storage in the Windows search box and press Enter. You can enable Storage Sense here, and have Windows automatically free up space by periodically removing temporary files and emptying the Recycle Bin. Click the 'Change how we free up space automatically link to manage the settings and choose how often the tool should run. You can also click 'Free up space now to start a manual clean. You'll be presented with a list of items to be removed and can select the ones you wish to include.

You can free up a lot of space by uninstalling old and unused software. It's worth using the free lObit Uninstaller (bit.ly/uninstall466) for this because it can remove programs Windows apps and browser toolbars, and clear up junk that the
Windows uninstaller leaves behind. You can order the list of installed programs by largest or most recent, so you can quickly see the biggest space hogs and oldest software, and get rid of them.

Compress files before downloading

Many files you download from the web come packaged in Zip or RAR format to reduce their size, but others are only available in their bloated full versions. Thankfully, you can use CloudConvert (cloudconvert.com) to compress files online before downloading them. On the website, or in the CloudConvert iOS app (bit.ly/ccios466), click the arrow next to select Files and choose "Add from URL" Paste the download link address, then click the Select Format box and choose the compression type you require " options include 7z (7-Zip proprietary format), RAR, TAR and ZIP Click the Start Conversion button and wait. You can save the file to your device or to cloud-storage services including Dropbox OneDrive or Google Drive. The free version of CloudConvert limits you to 25 conversion minutes a day and a maximum file size of 1GB.

Free up space on your phone

If you're running out of space on your Android device, you can use Files from Google (files.google.com) to clear away the clutter. This recently updated app can remove unused apps, large or duplicate files and low-resolution videos. As a bonus, the app also lets you securely transfer files to nearby friends without using your data allowance, and back up files to the cloud.

On an iPhone or iPad, go into Settings, General, iPhone Storage and free up content there. Alternatively, there's iMyFone Umate (bit.ly/ imyfone466). Install the software on your PC or Mac, connect your iPhone and 'trust' the connection. It will scan your device and tell you how much space can be reclaimed. There's a free trial available, or you can pay $19.95 (around £15) for a lifetime license.

Reduce the streaming quality of apps

When you're streaming or downloading videos or music on the go, opting for the highest quality available seriously eats into your mobile allowance and available storage. Dropping the quality can make a huge difference to the size, and you
probably won't even notice the difference when viewing videos on a smaller screen.

Netflix users can tap the More button in the app, go to App Settings and adjust the video quality there (you can also delete previous downloads). In iPlayer, open the Menu and tap the cog icon. Make sure Higher Quality Downloads is off


Spotify users can adjust the audio bitrate by tapping the cog and choosing Music Quality. For streaming, Automatic (Recommended) is the default, but you can opt for Low or Normal quality. The Download setting lets you switch between
Normal (Recommended) and High or Very High. Make sure the Download Using Cellular setting is switched off unless you have an unlimited mobile plan.

Set alerts for data usage

Your mobile network provider should let you check to see how much of your data plan you've used and have remained at any time, and may alert you if you get too close to using it all. If it doesn't, or you need greater control over the notifications you receive, install My Data Manager (www.mydatamanagerapp.com) on your Android or iOS device. This free app lets you set custom usage alarms, as well as showing you which apps consume the most data. It monitors how many call minutes and text messages you have left, and the iPhone version comes with a free VPN.

Limit data used by smart-home devices

Security cameras protect your property and belongings, but they really chew through your data if the footage gets uploaded to the cloud. You can reduce this by only recording when necessary h when you're not at home or when motion is
detected. Dropping the resolution is also worth considering provided the video is still clear enough to make out faces and other distinguishing features.

Other smart devices may use more data than you might expect so it's important to keep an eye on these. A lot of modern routers provide tools that allow you to see how much data your various connected devices are using, giving you the chance to take action to reduce this in the device's app (if possible). If your router doesn't offer this feature, consider buying a newer one that does

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