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How to maximise the capacity of your SSD

Paul Mah | Sept. 30, 2013
Here are some low cost ways to free additional space on your SSD (or even hard disk drive) to maximise its use.

You can change your virtual memory by launching the Systems applet from the Windows Control Panel (This works on both Windows 7 and Windows 8), which you can access by clicking on System and Security and then System. Next, bring up the Systems Properties dialog by clicking on Advanced system settings on the left column. Navigate to the Advanced tab, and bring up the Performance Options by clicking on Settings... button under the Performance section. Next, click on Change... to bring up the Virtual Memory dialog.

In the Virtual Memory dialog, first disable Automatically manage paging file size for all drives if it's enabled. Select No paging file if you'd like to disable it completely, or select Custom size if you want to set a fixed amount of virtual memory. For the latter, set the same initial and maximum size. Click on OK when finished; you may have to restart for the new setting to take effect.

Clear out temporary files
Every laptop will inevitably collect temporary files and other digital gunk that hogs up precious space on your SSD. One way to quickly eliminate spurious files is to use the Disk Cleanup tool (Type disk cleanup from the search box in the Start menu), or make use of dedicated third-party tools such as CCleaner. Additionally, take the time to comb through your default browser's download folder, which is often cluttered with old downloads you no longer need.

If you use an app-based email client such as Outlook, you can trim down the size of the local mailbox by compacting it occasionally. To do that, go to the Accounts Settings of Outlook, and click on the Data files tab. Select the appropriate account and click on Properties to bring up the Properties dialog. Go to the Advanced tab, and click on Compact now to start. The operation can take some time, even on a fast SSD, so don't do it right before an important meeting.

Uninstall apps
Finally, apps you no longer require can be uninstalled to save storage space. It may surprise you how simply browsing through the Uninstall Program (Select Uninstall a program from the Control Panel) applet will reveal software that can be safely removed.

A slightly more time-consuming exercise would be to re-configure installed apps to remove components or modules that you don't require. You can do this by selecting the program you want to change, and clicking on Change instead of Uninstall. This generally works better on large apps such as Microsoft Office.


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