Get More Space On Your Phone, Tablet & PC (Part 2) - Clear out clutter

8/15/2013 9:27:46 AM

Clear out clutter

Remove junk files in a jiffy

There are several excellent programs you can use to clear out clutter from your PC and reclaim space from junk files. The best known and most popular is Web User favorite CCleaner (, but you could also try the speedy SlimCleaner ( or the powerful BleachBit ( The latter, which is available for Windows and Linux, was recently updated to offer improved clean-up of Chrome and Thunderbird data, and to cover more recent-documents lists and log files.



Remove duplicate files from your PC

Having several copies of the same files stored in different directories on your hard drive can waste valuable space. There are dedicated duplicate finders you can use to identify and delete these clones, such as AllDup (, but the latest version of CCleaner also has a powerful tool for the job.

To access this new feature, click Tools and select File Finder. You can match duplicates by Name, Size and/or Modified Date, and specify locations to include and exclude in your search. Once you’ve found the unwanted copies, tick the boxes next to them and click Delete Selected. CCleaner usefully greys out the original file to prevent you from accidentally removing that, too.

Remove duplicates on your smartphone

It’s possible you’ll also have some duplicate files taking up space on your mobile phone. The free Android app Search Duplicate File (Free) ( identifies these clones, and removes them. You can search for all types of file; a specific type, such as photos, audio or video; or a particular file format. The search results are handily grouped by size, so you can target the largest space hogs first.

Duplicate Contacts

Duplicate Contacts

Remove space-wasting emails

If you use an email program such as Microsoft Outlook, Windows Live Mail, Thunderbird or the new Opera Mail, your downloaded messages can take up a lot of space, especially if you send and receive large attachments. While not everyone can (or will want to) achieve “inbox zero" - when you have no messages at all - it's definitely worth spending time going through your emails and deleting those with attachments (saving important files first, of course) and newsletters.

Your email program's search feature should provide an option to remove multiple messages at once, and let you click the ‘Sort by size’ column to list the biggest space hogs first.

Clear app caches on an Android phone

Just like programs on a PC, apps on an Android device store data that can build up over time and waste space. You can clear an app's cache or data by tapping the menu button and going to Settings, Applications. Select an app and tap the ‘Clear cache’ button to remove all the temporary files. Tapping the ‘Clear data’ option removes all files, settings, accounts, databases and more, essentially rolling back the app to how it was when first installed. For obvious reasons, you should avoid using this option unless you are sure there are no files or settings you still need.

Clear App cache on Adroid

Clear App cache on Adroid

Remove clutter from your phone

The free program Clean Master from KS Mobile ( targets the junk accumulated by apps and removes all traces of leftover files from your Android device.

Alternatively, you could try the brilliant new AVG Cleaner (, a free app that provides a thorough scrub-down of your phone or tablet. As well as clearing your browser cache, it can wipe your call and text logs, and remove unwanted app data from both the device's internal memory and your SD card.

You can set AVG Cleaner to delete data at chosen intervals using its Auto Clean feature and see how much memory can be saved by running clean-ups.

See our Mini Workshop on page 46 to find out how to use it.

AVG Cleaner

AVG Cleaner

Move and resize files

Move Android apps to your memory card

Many Android apps can be moved to (and run from) your mobile phone's SD card, freeing up space on the device itself. Tap the Menu button and go to Settings, Applications. Tap the menu button again and select ‘Sort by size’ to see the largest apps first. Select the first app and tap the ‘Move to SD card’ button. If this is greyed out, it means that particular app can't be run from a memory card, so you're stuck with it on your phone.

Run programs from a USB flash drive

Instead of installing large programs that you rarely use on your hard drive, you can download them to a USB memory stick and run them from there. The best solution is to use the launcher (, which lets you store portable versions of your favorite software and games on a portable drive, rather than on your PC.  You can choose from more than 300 popular programs, including Chrome, Firefox, Skype, LibreOffice and Spybot - Search & Destroy. See for the full list.

Portable Apps

Portable Apps

Upload your photos to Flickr

Yahoo's photo-sharing service recently had an upgrade and you now have a whopping 1TB of storage for your photos. If your hard drive is bursting at the seams with digital snaps, you can free up a lot of space by uploading some or all of the pictures to Flickr and more storage than your PC offers. If you're worried about trusting Flickr to safeguard all your treasured memories, you can always back up the photos to an additional cloud storage service or to a spare drive, or write them to a DVD or Blu-ray disc.

Flickr has a limit of 200MB per photo, which you're unlikely to exceed, and lets you download the original image files at any time.

Upload photos from your mobile

You can copy photos and videos from your phone to Dropbox as soon as you take them, and then share them with friends. You'll need to install the free app for Android ( or iOS (, and have a Dropbox account. The app copies the photo and videos rather than moving them, so you’ll need to delete the files after you've uploaded them if you ' a want to reclaim the space on your phone.

Camera Upload

Camera Upload

Run programs from the cloud

Instead of filling your hard drive with lots of big programs you rarely run, you can use Spoon ( to launch software as and when you need it, without needing to install anything. Just download the plug-in, create a free account and then select the applications you want to run.

You can browse categories such as Browsers, Office and Social, and choose from popular programs including Adobe Reader, OpenOffice, Firefox, Chrome, Audacity and Advanced SystemCare. The free version of Spoon limits you to 2GB of storage and two sandboxes, which you can use to avoid malware by running programs within a secure environment.

Optimize photos by shrinking them

Some of the latest smartphones have excellent cameras, but the high quality means the resulting photo files can be huge. Image Optimizer for Android ( does exactly what its name says, and shrinks your photos so they take up less room. The free app offers two choices – it can either compress your photos to save a lot of lose some quality; or optimize your pictures without affecting their quality at all, but only making them slightly smaller.

Compress files as much as you can

You can save a lot of space by compressing files that you don’t need on a daily basis, such as old PDFs or photos. The tighter you can compress an archive, the more space you'll save. 7-Zip ( uses its own proprietary 7z format, which offers between 30 and 40 per cent greater compression rates than ordinary ZIP files. It also provides 256-bit AES encryption, which comes in handy for protecting sensitive data.

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