How to Delete Things Off My Computer

By Gregory Hamel

Your computer's hard drive contains the data you need to run your computer, such as the operating system and program files, as well as any other data files you download or create such as videos, audio files or documents. Over time your hard drive may become cluttered with data, leaving little room for new files and potentially causing reduced performance. Deleting files off of your computer will help keep your hard drive free from clutter.

Step 1

Delete individual video files such as video, audio or document files using the recycle bin. Click on the file, hold down the left mouse button and drag and drop the file into the recycle bin. Right-click the recycle bin and choose "Empty Recycle Bin" to delete any files that you moved to the bin.

Step 2

Delete program files using the program's uninstaller. Click "Start" and "All Programs" then search for the program you want to remove in the list. Select the program then click "Uninstall" or "Remove." An uninstaller wizard will launch; follow the instructions to uninstall the program.

Step 3

Remove temporary files and other unnecessary files using the Disk Cleanup tool. Click "Start," "All Programs," "Accessories," "System Tools" then "Disk Cleanup." Choose the drive you want to clean if prompted. Click "Ok," select the file types that you want to remove by checking the boxes in the list then click "Ok." Confirm that you want to delete the files when a prompt appears.

Tips & Warnings

  • Routinely deleting old programs and other files can help maintain computer performance and ensure your hard disk will have space available for new data.
  • After purging old files, you may wish to defragment your hard drive. To access the disk defragmenter, click "Start," "All Programs," "Accessories," "System Tools" then "Disk defragmenter."