The Most Efficient File Formats to Save Hard Drive Space

image compression

(3.5-min read)

It can sometimes feel like a challenge for your computer hard drive to keep up with the number of files you keep adding to it. Even though larger hard drives are easier to come by and are increasingly affordable, you can still find yourself running out of space pretty quickly. Did you know that the format you choose to save your files can translate into significant hard drive savings? In this piece, we’re going to look at some of the most efficient file formats. 

Efficient Text Document Settings

If you’re needing to hang onto an assortment of text documents, choosing what format to keep them as really depends on why you need them in the first place. While a plain “.txt” file is acceptable for holding onto raw notes, lists, and other data, it isn’t the greatest if you’re needing to preserve formatting, specialized fonts, or any imagery. To save these types of documents in a format you can edit later, you’re best off keeping your text documents in Microsoft Word’s preferred format: .doc or .docx. If you’re needing to include images, graphics, or advanced formatting, these files can grow quite large and end up displayed differently on specific systems. A .PDF (portable document format) file will allow you to preserve any formatting but will cost you in terms of editability.

Efficient Video File Formats

Just within the past few years, which video format you decide to use has become a much more significant decision. Part of the reason for this is the advances in video viewing technology. In days gone by, internet video and television/DVD videos were in their own separate classes. These days, most peoples’ TVs are exclusively powered by the internet.

For this reason, if you want to save hard drive space while not sacrificing video and audio quality, your best bet is a .MP4 video format. Not only will you save hard drive space while preserving media quality, but .MP4 files can be played on a vast array of devices and systems. 

Efficient Image File Formats

You want to be able to cram all of your phone pictures onto your hard drive, but there just isn’t enough space! Instead of opting for shorter vacations or fewer images, there are some ways to cram more images into less hard drive space. 

  1. Choose the right format. If you just have a boatload of pictures and you don’t plan on blowing them up to hang on your wall, you’re probably safe saving them as .JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) images. The image quality of .JPEG images can still vary between low, medium, and high, depending on what you need. 
  2. Compress your files accordingly. With the increase in megapixels on phones, most of us have more photo than we know what to do with. Once you get past a certain level of megapixels, you may as well be able to print in actual size — something few people to do. If you plan on posting images on a website or just trying to save space on a hard drive, consider compressing your images. While you can do so in many photo editing systems, one of the easiest ways to do so if with one of our favorite free services: TinyPNG.com. Be warned, though — once you compress your images, any loss of resolution cannot be restored. 

Opt for Professional Electronic Content Management

Instead of having to sacrifice file size or quantity, you can opt for professional electronic content management solutions. Take all of the videos, pictures, and write all of the documents you want with ever-expanding cloud storage. 

Learn more about Electronic Content Management for your business from JD Young.