7 Ways to Free Up Hard Drive Space on a Trading Computer

A new trading computer runs like a Ferrari. But after you’ve been using it a while, programs and data start to accumulate. These accumulated files gradually degrade the performance of your system as you start to run out of hard disk space.

You can always buy a secondary internal or external hard drive. But sometimes you can resolve the problem just by getting rid of unwanted programs or files.

This is a particularly important best practice for traders because when your hard drive is clean (i.e., it has room to spare), it performs better. And better computer performance translates to less slippage and better trading results.

Here are 7 proven techniques to clean your Windows 10 PC.

1. Empty Recycle Bin

Emptying your Recycle Bin to reclaim space is such an easy and simple solution that most people forget about it. When your files and folders go into the Recycle Bin, they are not deleted yet. So they still occupy space on your hard drive.

You can right-click on the Recycle Bin and use the Empty Recycle Bin option to clear it out. This will completely remove the files that you have deleted already.

2. Run Disk Cleanup

Windows 10 has its own Disk Cleanup utility. It will find temporary files, internet files, and system log files that are not being used, and purge them.

You can find the Disk Cleanup utility on the Start menu, under All apps > Windows Administrative Tools > Disk Cleanup. It will give you an estimate of overall hard disk space you can save. Also, it will show you a breakdown of how much disk space each program is using.

3. Remove Downloaded Files

If you routinely download from the internet to your Download folder, you can quickly end up with a bloated list of files you no longer need. Using File Explorer, navigate to the Download folder and delete the old junk.

4. Use Windows Storage Sense

If you have updated your trading computer to Windows 10 Fall Creator Update (2017), then you can use the new Storage Sense feature to automatically accomplish the above 3 tasks. In Settings, go to the Storage tab and toggle the Storage Sense button.

Windows 10 will let you choose which of the 3 categories of temporary files it will automatically clean out: Temporary files, Recycle Bin files, and files in the Downloads folder. You can also use Storage Sense to manually perform these cleaning tasks on demand.

5. Disable Hibernate

Hibernate can decrease energy consumption on your trading computer. It’s faster than a full restart. But it comes at a price. Hibernate saves snapshots of files and drivers each time it goes to sleep. These snapshots need a lot of space.

So disabling hibernate will save disk space. Disable it from the command prompt with the powercfg.exe /hibernate off command.

6. Uninstall Extra Apps

Any app on your Windows 10 system that you are not using is occupying unnecessary space. You can go to System > Apps & features and search your apps using the Sort by size feature. It will also show you the last-use date. This information should help you make decisions about which apps you can safely remove.

For uninstalling, go to Control Panel > Programs and Features. This will show you all the apps available on your system. Right-click on each superfluous app and uninstall it.

7. Utilize Cloud Storage

Most people use cloud storage as a backup. However, modern Windows 10 apps can use cloud storage like an internal disk drive. So instead of saving files on your disk, you can store them in the cloud directly.

When you sync to a cloud storage system, you can choose which folders are stored locally on your hard drive, which are only in the cloud, and which are stored in both places. If you’re really pressed for hard drive space, minimize how many files are stored locally.


A clean disk drive will help you maintain a high-performing and reliable trading computer. And a high-performing computer means less slippage and better trading results.

Plan now to incorporate one or more of these maintenance best practices into your regular routine. Most of these tasks only take a few steps, but they can make a big difference in your trading success.

There are more trading computer tips like this in our buyers guide. Check out our “How To Buy a Trading Computer” e-book.

We hope today’s Quick Tip helped you. If you found this helpful, you’ll want to check out the other computer How-To’s I’ve created on this page. You can always call us if you have questions: 800-387-5250