Disk Cleanup

Disk Cleanup is a utility included within Windows that allows you to remove unnecessary files, freeing up hard drive space and speeding up your PC. These files include: Items in Recycle Bin, Temporary Internet Files and Temporary Files. A description of each item is included in Disk Cleanup.

Disk Cleanup Dialog Box
Disk Cleanup Dialog Box

Disk Cleanup

Cleaning system files won’t remove your personal files but it is recommended to back up files regularly.

  1. Open Disk Cleanup by holding the Windows Key and Pressing the letter R.
  2. Type in “cleanmgr” (without quotes) and press Enter.
  3. Select the drive you wish to clean and click ‘OK’ – For almost all cases this will be C drive.
  4. Select items you wish to remove and click ‘OK’ – I select all items except Recycle Bin, Thumbnails and User File History, unless these items where large and I required space. At a minimum select Temporary Files and Temporary Internet Files.
  5. Click ‘OK’.
  6. Confirm you wish to delete files by clicking ‘Delete Files’.
  7. The progress bar will disappear when clean-up has been completed.

Cleanup System Files

Disk Cleanup can also be used to clean up system files. This can greatly increase disk space available on your PC – I have seen some computers regains 20GB after cleaning system files. Care should be taken when System Files are cleaned as some services may rely on these files.

The steps to Clean up system files is much the same as above but with a few extra steps in the middle.

  1. Open Disk Cleanup by holding the Windows Key and Pressing the letter R.
  2. Type in “cleanmgr” (without quotes) and press Enter.
  3. Select the drive you wish to clean and click ‘OK’ – For almost all cases this will be C drive.
  4. Click ‘Cleanup System Files’
  5. Select the drive you wish to clean and click ‘OK’ – Again this will most likely be C drive.
  6. Select items you wish to remove and click ‘OK’ – Again we will probably want to untick Recycle Bin, Thumbnails and User File History – All other items can be selected. If you have upgraded to Windows 10 on your machine and might want to roll back to 7 or 8, untick “Previous Windows Installation(s)” and “Temporary Windows Installation Files”. Before selecting “Windows Update Cleanup”, ensure that Windows Update is working correctly.
  7. Click ’OK’.
  8. Confirm you wish to delete files by clicking ‘Delete Files’.
  9. The progress bar will disappear when clean-up has been completed.

Disk Cleanup, if run regularly can help keep you PC running at its best. For more tips, check out of Tech Tips page.

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