Clean Up Your Hard Drive:
The Ultimate Guide

Over time, your operating system accumulates junk that takes up valuable space and wastes resources. The best way to free up some space and keep your computer operating at max speeds is by cleaning up your hard drive. If you don't clean up your computer, things will start to slow down.

Fortunately, there are quick and easy ways to clean up your hard drive to free up storage space and speed up your computer. In this guide, we'll walk you through how to clean your Mac and Windows 10 hard drive.

Why should you clean up your hard drive?

Does your computer seem sluggish? Often, the problem is caused by old files and programs. Cleaning up your hard drive will speed things up significantly. This process will delete temporary files, empty the Trash or Recycle Bin, and remove a variety of old files and programs that are no longer needed.

Another good reason to clean up your hard drive is to make room for additional software. For instance, you might be looking to run Windows OS on your Mac via Boot Camp. To install and run Windows smoothly on your Intel-based Mac, you need to make some room on your hard drive.

How to clean up your hard drive

Now that we know the benefits of cleaning up the computer hard drive on a regular basis, let's look at how to do it. The process of cleaning up your hard drive varies depending on whether you are using macOS or Windows. We'll start with how to clean a Mac hard drive.


MacOS comes with a few built-in tools to help users optimize storage. Follow the steps below to free up some storage space on your Mac.

  1. Launch the Apple menu and click on About This Mac > Storage. Then choose Manage. From here, you'll be able to access macOS's built-in Storage Management tools.
  2. MacOS allows you to transfer some of your files to the cloud. Select Store in iCloud to transfer all your files, including photos, messages, and videos, to the cloud.
  3. Use the Reduce Clutter option to find files you no longer need and delete them. Click Review Files to view unsupported applications, containers, and other useless files. Browse the list and remove these items one by one.

Windows 10

Now let's look at how to clean a hard drive on Windows 10. Windows 10 offers a couple of built-in options to clean up your hard drive. These are Disk Cleanup and Storage Sense.

  • Type Disk Cleanup into the Windows Start menu and click to launch the disk cleaning utility. Then select the disk you want to clean. Disk Cleanup will show you a list of unnecessary files that you can delete. Select Clean up system files to remove files you no longer need.
  • Go to Settings > System > Storage to clean up your hard drive using Storage Sense. Storage Sense works just like Disk Cleanup but offers a few more options and a nicer interface. For instance, you can configure Storage Sense to clean up files automatically when your disk space is low.

Clean up your hard drive with Parallels Toolbox

Both Windows 10 and macOS offer built-in tools to clean up your hard drive. However, you're mostly doing a cursory find-and-delete operation with these built-in tools. These manual processes can only get you so far, which is why you should consider a more capable third-party option such as Parallels Toolbox.

Whether you are using Mac or PC, your computer will build up junk over time. These useless files take up valuable resources and slow down your computer. Parallels Toolbox scans your computer for useless files and lets you choose what to delete to keep your device clutter-free and running smoothly.