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Deleting, Archiving, and Organizing Files and Documents

Another way to free up disk space is to delete or archive old or unused files and documents. This could include MP3s, photos, old work or school papers, and setup or installation files. If you don't want to get rid of your files forever, you can still save disk space by archiving them in a compressed (.zip) file, which can reduce the total size of files to 70% or more. You can also burn the zip folders or the original files to a CD or DVD for safe keeping.

While you're rummaging through your digital clutter, you should think about organizing during this process as well. This is a great time to take advantage of the predefined folders Windows XP and Vista offers under your account folder. Place your photos in the My Pictures folder, your MP3s into My Music, and so on. (As you'll notice, Microsoft dropped the My from personal folders in Vista.) You can even create your own folders, such as My School, My Work, My Game Cheats, My YouTube; whatever floats your boat.

Files and documents you delete in Windows are first transferred to the Recycle Bin. To permanently delete these files and free up the disk space, you must empty the Recycle Bin. You can either open the bin and click the appropriate button or right-click on the icon and select the appropriate option.

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