How do I Increase Hard Drive Memory?

Felicia Dye

A hard drive is a computer’s storage facility. The space available for storage of items, such as programs, videos, and documents, is often called memory. When a person uses most or all of this space, she may not be able to save files and her computer may begin to operate much slower. To increase hard drive memory, a person can use external storage devices, add an additional hard drive, and delete unwanted files.

Hard drive.
Hard drive.

A simple way to increase hard drive memory is to use portable storage devices. The space on a hard drive must be considered in much the same way as any other type of space. When a person is shopping, every item stored in the shopping cart reduces the available space for new items. Likewise, every item person a wishes to save on a computer’s hard drive consumes space. Using a device such as a portable hard drive or a flash drive allows a person to store her files and obtain them when necessary without consuming space on her hard drive.

Hard drive with the case removed.
Hard drive with the case removed.

If a person does not want to deal with portable storage devices, she could install an additional hard drive. Much like getting a second shopping cart or adding an addition to a house, an additional hard drive provides a new allotment of space, but it remains within the computer. Thereafter, when a person saves something, she will generally be given an option of which hard drive she would like to use for storage.

People may purchase external hard drives to increase hard drive memory.
People may purchase external hard drives to increase hard drive memory.

It is beneficial to note that hard drives are available in various sizes. When a person installs an additional hard drive it can be either larger or smaller than the original hard drive. Furthermore, if a person does not want two hard drives, she can purchase a hard drive that is large enough to suit her needs and she can remove the original hard drive.

Another strategy for increasing drive memory is deleting programs and other files that are not needed. Many people think hard drive memory is only affected by items they save. However, the programs already on a computer when it is purchased consume space. Anything that is unneeded can be deleted to increase hard drive memory.

In some cases, deletion is not necessary. Instead, people can increase memory by turning off functions they do not use or those they are willing to sacrifice. One example of this is hibernation, which allows a computer to save information, shut down the computer, and reopen the information when the computer is restarted. If a person disables the hibernate function she can increase her hard drive memory. She will simply have to reopen documents and programs herself when she restarts her computer.

Thumb drives are small external drives that can expand the storage space of a computer.
Thumb drives are small external drives that can expand the storage space of a computer.

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Discussion Comments


@Terrificli @Soulfox -- that's good advice for general maintenance, but what about the root problem of seriously running out of hard drive space? If you are nearing the limits of your hard drive capacity, cleaning out temporary and junk files will help but it won't solve the underlying problem.

The good news is that hard drives are cheap. Adding a new, internal drive is a very easy operation and most desktop computers already have a spot and the wiring in place to install the thing in minutes. Just spend a few bucks, throw in a huge hard drive and that will solve your problem.


@Soulfox -- in a lot of ways, those programs are essential to keeping a computer running well. Some of the better ones clean out bad Windows registry items in addition to cleaning out unnecessary files.

The longer you use a Windows machine, the more essential those programs are. As you install and reinstall programs, a lot of files and registry items get left behind. All of that unnecessary stuff can slow down a fast computer in a hurry, so cleaning those items out regularly is a necessity.


There are a lot of programs out there that will get rid of unneeded and temporary files and many of them are free. They can save a lot of space, but be careful about using them. Make sure to find some that are highly rated or you could wind up with something that will do more harm than good. With all of the spyware, malware and flatout scam software floating around, you don't want to download anything without researching it first.

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