If you stop to think about it, the computer is truly a marvelous invention. With current technology, we can record, replicate, and share audio in video files that can be played anywhere in the world. Most of us capitalize on this by filling our computers to our heart’s content with photos, songs, and movies.

After a while, though, it can be easy for your collection to balloon to astronomical sizes due to the sheer amount of files you’d manage to find over the years. Nobody has infinite hard drive space, and at the same time, you might be too attached to certain photos or videos to delete them permanently. Web designers are affected by this issue even more because of heavy files they have to keep for professional purposes. If you’re prudent in how you prepare for the future with your computer files, you won’t end up having to make any difficult decisions in the future regarding what you’ll keep and what you won’t.

Make use of an external hard drive

External drives can be great for preventing data loss in case your computer conks out entirely, but they can also be used as digital albums that store all of your files. When you use an external hard drive, you reduce the burden placed on your main computer hard drive significantly. For instance, most computers run much slower when they are approaching maximum storage capacity. An external hard drive with about 1 TB (that’s 1000 GB!) of space should handle most people’s data storage needs.

Trim the fat

How and where you find your media files will often be as varied as the files themselves, and not all of them will be created equally. There are a few dozen different encoding formats used for video, for instance, with some being much bulkier than they have to be. For example, if you have hundreds of files in the .mts format, you’ll end up saving lots of space by converting it to the much smaller .mp4 format. Of course, knowing how to convert mts to mp4 without losing quality is another thing entirely. These days, tons of easy-to-use software will convert all of your large media files into much more manageable ones with just the click of a button. It’s just a matter of storing files in the most convenient format.

Compress files you don’t use

There are some files you won’t end up using very often, but you still want to have on hand. Since they are going to be in deep storage, it would be prudent to have them take up the least amount of space as possible. Use file compression software to make those files much smaller until they’re needed once again, at which point you can uncompress them and view them normally. This is also a great thing to do before transferring files as it will make the process go much quicker since the file sizes will all be smaller post-compression.


Computers come with only a limited amount of space, so don’t let any of yours go to waste. All of these steps are simple and easy to implement, with only the external hard drive option requiring you to even leave the house at all. Be wise with your bytes, people!