Caches are temporary files that are stored on your computer for future use whenever needed; they get stored in a hidden file named “cache.” Next time when you browse anything on the web, it makes your search faster and easier. Cache files speed up the performance of your system as well. But the problem users face due to these cache files is it occupies a considerable amount of space within the system. In this article, we will talk about the ways to find all the hidden caches in your Windows PC and how to Free Storage Space in Windows 11/10 using easy steps.
How to Free Storage Space in Windows 11/10 by clearing these Hidden Window Caches
- Free Storage Space Automatically
- Delete Temp File Cache
- Clear Windows Store Cache
- Remove Windows Update Cache
- Delete System Restore Cache
- Remove Thumbnail Cache
- Clear DNS Cache
- Clear Web Browser Cache
1] Free Storage Space Automatically
Windows 11/10 includes Storage Space. It will clear up Recycle Bin in 30 days, and App data that is not used by Apps.
- Go to Settings > System > Storage
- Turn on the toggle on Storage sense to automatically clean up space.
- Follow the link which says, “Configure Storage Sense or run it now.”
- Here you have the options
- Run Storage sense when disk space is low
- Delete temporary files that my apps aren’t using every 30 days
- Delete files from the Download folders
- Locally available cloud content removes unused cloud-backed content from devices.
- You also get an option to initiate this by hitting the Clean Now button manually.
2] Clearing Temp File Cache
There is a System Directory in Windows that stores all the system’s temporary files in it. Temporary files act as a connector while other files are modified. At the same time, they can also hold a few temporary data that programs need for a short period. The system’s directory gets filled with unwanted junk which needs to be cleaned up from time to time. Here’s how to clean them.
- First, open the Start Menu, then look for the Disk Cleanup application, and launch the app after that. When it prompts, select the drive on the Windows that you want to clear (it is mainly the C: drive) and wait till it gets analyzed.
- Now under the tab of Disk Cleanup, unmark all the boxes except the ones that are labeled as Temporary Files — once done click Ok.
Deleting temporary files is safe, which have not been in use for a week or so. It is a relief that Windows already has such an inbuilt cleanup system.
3] Clearing Windows Store Cache
One of the greatest things that Windows users experienced was the inclusion of the Microsoft Store. While you download anything from the Stores, caches are also formed which eat up a lot of disk space. At times it also interrupts the download process, and sometimes they even stop the download, which is annoying. Following the way below will help you to clear Microsoft Store Cache.
- There is a utility option that Microsoft provides in its system called WSReset.exe that enables you to clean all caches.
- Click the Windows key + R key on the keyboard together, to open Run, then type WSReset.exe on the box and click OK or press Enter.
- A black box appears after that on the screen. You may not see anything on the first instant, so wait till it shows up. Once it has finished working, Windows Store will automatically be launched; this means all the Store Caches are now cleared.
4] Clearing Windows 11/10 Update Cache
You may not know this, but Windows store all the updated files of Windows in the cache memory and offer you necessary things when you need or rerun any update. The only issue with this, it eats up a lot of space on your system.
- Before deleting all of these cache files, you need to disable the Windows Update option. It is to confirm that no recent update on your Windows is taking place. To check this, open the Start menu and find Command Prompt app, then on it type net stop wuauserv.
- After this open File Explorer, and steer to C: Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download.
- Now you can safely delete everything inside this Download folder. Once you are done with the clearing process, you can re-enable the Update process. To do that, you have to type net start wuauserv, in the Command Prompt.
If you recently updated to Windows 11/10, it will free a considerable amount of Storage Space.
5] Clearing System Restore Cache
One of the most helpful features in Windows is System Restore. When your computer might fail to work or crash for any reason, this restore option will always have your back. It helps to restore everything in the system that has been lost. Thus, making your system function properly again. But sometimes files get corrupted due to some cache. Try the following way to clean System Restore Cache.
- First, open the Start menu and then search for the System application. Open it and look for the link saying System Protection: then click on it.
- Now on this System Protection Tab and the select drive, click on the option Configure. Then at the bottom, you will find Delete, click on it to erase all the restored cache files. Once you do this, make sure to recreate another Restore point instantly.
It should free up considerable storage space in Windows 11/10.
6] Delete Thumbnail Cache
For thumbnail files previews Windows has a setting in it. If this setting is enabled, an Mp3/MP4 video is played, and it will be shown with a frame that is from the video file itself. The file shows the preview of a similar image that it looks. Thumbnails are of significant usage, and these thumbnails come from internet explorer when you browse them.
Each time when browse they get stored in a folder as thumbnails by Windows. Every day with these newly generated thumbnails cache slows down the performance of the system. So they require cleaning occasionally.
- To clear the thumbnail cache, first open the Start menu, then look for the Disk Cleanup app, and open it. When it prompts on the screen, select the system’s drive, which is generally C: Drive, now wait till it analyses the system file.
- Now in the Disk Cleanup tab, unmark all the boxes except the boxes labeled as Thumbnails in it. After this click OK. Your Thumbnail cache is now cleared.
7] Clearing DNS Cache
When you browse any website, your computer is necessarily seeking the request of web data from another system. But how it is supposed to know and contact the other equipment? It is through the Domain Name System and IP address that helps to connect.
This Domain Name System is a channel of computer networks that creates a path for internet traffic among each other. But when these DNS routes get changed, the rote’s cached copy becomes outdated. These unwanted loaded caches create a problem, the next time when you browse. They either interrupt while loading a web page or sometimes malfunction. So they need to be cleaned. Clearing the DNS cache is not harmful at all.
- If you are facing any routing problems, then clearing them will fix all the issues. They are easy to clean and don’t cause any problems. First, go to your system’s Start Menu, then search Command Prompt app, and then launch it.
- Once it is launched, type the following- ipconfig /flushdns.
This way you can clean the DNS caches on your system.
8] Web Browser Cache
- Cache cleaning for every browser varies. Each browser has its cache cleaning system, but all are easy processes.
- Chrome Users: For those who browse on Chrome, open the Settings menu, then scroll down the page, you will find Advanced settings, now under Privacy Settings, click on the Clear Browsing Data. Now select the Cache Images & Files option.
- Firefox Users: Open Settings, then go to the Advanced section, after that choose the Network tab, then click the button that says Clear Now. Within Clear Now select the option that says Cached Web Content.
- Opera Users: Under the Settings menu, go to Privacy & Security. Under this segment, select Clear browsing Data, now select Cached Files and Images. Make sure you clean it from the beginning.
These names mentioned above are the hidden cache files on your system, which need a cleaning process from time to time. Cleaning them frees up disk space on your system that was occupied due to unwanted caches. They are harmless and straightforward to clean. Follow up to clear your Windows Hidden Caches.
If you have any questions, do let us know in the comments section below.