Cloud Storage Vs. Cloud Synchronization: Which One Is Eating Up Storage Space On Your Computer?

I don’t look at cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive as cloud storage services. I would rather view them as cloud synchronization services – They keep copies of the same files on every device you have linked to your account, and do all of the work of making sure you have the same files on every device.

What that means is when you link your devices to these services, they keep a copy of each file on every device, which does count against your computer storage limits. So if you’re running out to space on your computer, or your computer is running super slow, it could possibly be that all of those files you think you have “in the cloud” are also taking up precious space on your computer.

A true cloud storage (like a cloud backup service) will only keep one copy of your files in one location. You will have to access this one location to view, share, or restore the files. In most cases, that location is NOT on your computer – Ideally, it’s stored offsite in the event something happens to your local files and you need to retrieve your data.

Why am I saying this? Well because I frequently work with people who are in a panic because they only have [insert ridiculously minuscule amount] of storage space left on their devices and don’t know why.

So if you really need to clear up some space on your computer to increase its speed and extent its life, I would suggest either:

  1. Unlinking your cloud storage services from your computer
  2. Deleting those files off your computer (Don’t worry a copy is saved in the cloud)
  3. Accessing your cloud storage services via the web interface.
  4. Bonus: Pick one cloud sync service for your files, organize, and get rid of those files you have no business keeping

 
I have no beef with cloud sync services, I use just about all of them in some sort of capacity, but if I have to choose between keeping every single file I’ve ever touched on my computer that’s spread across a gang of cloud services; or a fast computer that isn’t crammed to the brim with files, I’ll choose

“How do I keep my computer running as smooth as silk? For $800 Alex”



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