As time goes-by many applications that you have or used to have installed on your machine may leave a growing trail of files no longer necessary for the function of the app / machine itself.
Sometimes, it may only take up a negligible amount of disk space yet, in other cases, the amount of taken space may be significant, take me for example.
Although I consider myself a tidy user who make sure to note everything that comes in and out of my system, even I found I could easily scrape over 2 GB of disk space just by deleting unnecessary files such as: cached data, temporary files and history data.
If you’re inclined to do so too, here are 2 ways to go about it:
Automatic – BleachBit
A cross platform tool you may use to help find and remove those needless files that only add extra weight to your system is called BleachBit.
It’s an open source program that runs on both Windows and Linux platforms.
Its ultimate purpose is not only to lighten your system but also to help guarding your privacy (a noble cause indeed) by removing cookies or log files that may give away your doings.
Although BleachBit is programed to warn you prior to deleting any important files, I feel it’s important to stress the significance of carefully reading these warnings. Especially when you’re deleting system files (as opposed to some app files) . So be advised.
To use BleachBit, simply download and install the app (either from its website or from your distro’s repository), then run it and click on the preview option to view the files you’re about to delete.
Then, when you feel it’s OK to do so, click the Clean button to delete the files and free up disk space.
Manual – Time
On the contrary to the option suggested above, if you have some more time on your hands and feel like getting them (your hands) dirty as well, you may opt for scanning and deleting unnecessary files “by hand”.
This will require you to know a little more stuff about your system, things like what programs are installed on it currently and what not, where to look for excess files and with which directories you should handle the most carefully in order not to break your system by accident.
My advice in this case would be a more general one since there are too many options to consider than a simple explanation can include.
Hence, I shall say that the surplus files are very often hidden files (in Linux: files that starts with a “.” character) and that the most safest files to remove are usually found inside the user home folder (Linux) or Program Files / Data directories (Windows).
Nevertheless, as mentioned earlier, it would be wise of you to carefully examine the files you’re about to delete prior to actually deleting them.