Over time, every Windows PC builds up junk that takes up space and wastes resources. We all forget to perform regular maintenance, so often, the problem comes from old files and programs. Windows 11/10 has a new, easy-to-use tool for freeing up disk space on your computer. It removes temporary files, system logs, previous Windows installations, and other files you probably don’t need. In this post, I will guide you on how to disk cleanup in Windows 11/10.
How to Disk Cleanup in Windows 11/10
It can be done in multiple ways, and they are readily available for all the users in Windows.
- Storage Sense
- Disk Cleanup from Windows
- Remove Temporary Files
- Free up space after Windows Upgrade
The last section where you remove files after Windows Upgrade should be done with caution. These files stay for 10-14 days if you need to roll back to the earlier version of Windows.
1] Using Storage Sense
Windows can automatically free up space by removing the files you don’t need, like temporary files and items in the Recycle Bin, when you’re low on disk space or at intervals you specify. Here’s how to set up and configure Storage Sense:
- Open Settings in Windows (Win + I)
- Navigate and select System and head to the Storage Menu
- To enable Storage Sense, toggle the switch under the Storage Sense heading and choose from the list of data you would like to clear from. To disable, oppositely toggle the switch off, and you’re good to go.
- Here select the option stating Temporary Files and wait for Windows to gather data and collect information. Once done, click on the Remove Files option to remove the unwanted data.
In Windows 11
- Go to Settings > System > Storage and Toggle on Storage Sense
- Click on the Storage Sense to open detailed options
- Check the box that says Keep Windows running smoothly by automatically cleaning up temporary system and app files.
- Next, enable the Automatic User content cleanup.
- Here you can configure to run Storage Sense when disk space is low, delete files every 30 days and delete files from the downloads folder.
- You can also make storage sense clean up locally available cloud content. It will remove unused cloud content from the PC.
2] Disk Cleanup from Windows
Windows offers a variety of tools for cleaning up the disk, and Disk Cleanup is one of them. The Disk Cleanup tool comes pre-loaded, provides some great functionality, and helps in cleaning up the junk. Here’s how to use the Disk Cleanup utility to free up some junk space.
- In the Start Search Box, type in Disk Cleanup and select the main listed result.
- Here’s choose the drive you would like to clean up space from the list of all available drives.
- Under Files to delete, select the file types to t. To get a description of the file type, select it.
- If you want to free up more space, you can also delete system files by selecting Clean up system files.
- Click OK and wait for Windows to clean it up.
Related Read: How to perform Automatic Maintenance in Windows 11/10
3] Remove Temporary Files
Temporary files in Windows occupy some free space, resulting in slowed-down performance, storage issues, and more. One can remove the temporary files and clean up some disk space. Here’s how:
- Pull up the Run Box by searching it over in the Search Box or by alternatively pressing Win + R on the keyboard.
- Here type in %temp% and press Enter.
- Windows will now pull up the temp storage folder, select all the files, and delete them.
- It will free up a proportion of storage on your PC.
4] Free up Storage Space After Windows 11/10 Upgrade
Windows keeps getting heavy with every update; each update compiles many junk temporary cache files. A user doesn’t require these after the update, such as the upgrade assistant always backs up your existing installation either in the same drive (C Drive) or to an external drive/partition if you choose to. If you have upgraded your build of Windows recently, Check out our guide on how you can free storage space after a Windows 11/10 Upgrade or Feature Update.
Caches are temporary files stored on your computer for future use whenever needed; they get stored in a hidden folder named “cache”. These cache files occupy a considerable amount of space within the System. Read the article to know about the ways to find and delete all the hidden caches in your Windows 11/10 system.
I hope this post was useful and you could clean up disk space in Windows 11/10. With that said, How often do you clean up the disk spaces? Do let us know b dropping a comment down below.
Is It Safe To Do a Disk Cleanup?
Yes, using the built-in Disk Cleanup tool is safe as it does not delete anything important. Using Storage sense, you can further configure to protect a few folders such as OneDrive, Windows OLD, and Downloads folder. Many users want to keep the folders for a few more days, and a manual control makes more sense.
Should I Disk Cleanup or Defrag/Optimize First?
Since Defrag or Optimize Disk consolidates files to be accessed quicker, make sure to run the Disk Cleanup first so the optimization can be more efficient. In the case of HDDs, the head can access data faster, and in the case of SSDs, it will not make much difference, but the overall process will be faster.