Your computer is constantly creating and storing temporary files. Over time, these files can clutter your hard drive and slow down your computer. So, here’s how to remove junk files from Windows.
These temporary files can hog your limited storage space. With the simple methods below, you can delete the junk files on your Windows, freeing up space and increasing the productivity of your device. Let’s begin.
1. Remove the Temporary Files
Temporary files are generated during routine tasks and installations and accumulate gradually over time, consuming storage. Deleting them frees up storage and contributes to smoother system performance. If you’re unsure how to move forward, check our guide on deleting temporary files on Windows.
2. Run Disk Cleanup
Disk Cleanup is a handy tool in your Windows arsenal that allows you to remove unwanted files from your Windows PC or laptop. It scans and calculates the space you can free on the selected drive.
Follow the steps below to use the Disk Cleanup tool to say goodbye to junk like downloads, temporary Windows installation files, internet leftovers, and other unnecessary files.
Step 1: Press the Windows + S keys on your keyboard. Search for Disk Cleanup and open it.
Step 2: Choose the driver you wish to clean from the dropdown and click OK.
Step 3: The tool will now take time to scan how much space you can save by removing junk files.
Step 4: Check the boxes next to the items you want to remove. Click View Files to see which files will be deleted. Close the window once you check the files.
Step 5: Now, press ‘Clean up system files’ to remove unnecessary system files.
Step 6: Again, select the driver you want to clean up and click OK. It will now scan your device again.
Step 6: Click OK to delete the junk files.
Step 7: Click Delete Files to confirm the action.
3. Remove Junk Files Using Command Prompt
Command Prompt is a Windows command-line interpreter, using which you can control your device by typing some commands, eliminating the need for multiple clicks. It is one of the fastest ways to remove unwanted files from your Windows and make it run faster.
However, we suggest you exercise caution while using Command Prompt as it can permanently erase essential data on your computer. Follow the steps below the command Prompt as junk cleaner:
Note: Create a system restore point before using Command Prompt as a junk cleaner.
Step 1: Click the Windows icon. In the search box, enter Command Prompt, and press Run as administrator on the right side of the Window.
Note: Select Yes to allow the app to make changes when prompted.
Step 2: Enter the following command and press Enter.
Step 3: Choose the drive you want to clean from the dropdown and click OK.
Now, it will take 2-3 minutes to scan your device and make an estimate of the space that can be cleared.
Step 4: Check the box next to the items you wish to remove and press OK.
Step 5: Confirm by clicking the Delete Files button.
Additional Parameters for Cleanmgr
Cleanmgr is a command-line tool that helps free up disk space, delete unnecessary files, and more. Additionally, it offers several parameters to control how it cleans up your disk:
- sageset: Skips the drive selection step and directly opens the Disk Cleanup Settings window. Use it like this:
- sagerun: Automates the disk cleanup process by selecting all file categories and running the cleanup without prompting you for confirmation. Enter the below command:
- lowdisk: Selects all file categories by default and runs the cleanup. To use this command, type the following:
Moreover, you can also say which drive to clean, like Cleanmgr /lowdisk /c for drive C.
- verylowdisk: Similar to /lowdisk, but it also deletes all junk files without prompting you for confirmation. If you want to clean up a specific drive, use the following command:
Cleanmgr /verylowdisk /c
Remove Unwanted Temporary Files Using Command Prompt
Additionally, if you often find yourself cleaning up system-generated temporary files on your computer, here’s how to use Command Prompt for your assistance:
Step 1: Head to Command Prompt and run it as administrator.
Step 2: To view temporary files, enter the command below and hit Enter.
Now, you’ll be taken to the temporary files window. Check and close them.
Step 3: To delete the temporary files, type the below command and press Enter.
4. Clear Residual Files of Software
Residue files, also known as junk or leftover files, are the remaining files on your computer after uninstalling a program or performing specific system tasks. Clearing these files can give your computer breathing room and ensure smoother operations.
If you’re having trouble, check our explainer to clear residue files after uninstalling software on your Windows PC.
5. Clean Up Restore Points
System restore points are copies of the system files and configurations on your computer that you may use to return to a prior state if something goes wrong.
However, these restore points can accumulate over time and consume significant disk space. Removing the junk from restore points is easy. Follow the steps below:
Step 1: Click the Windows icon. Search for Disk Cleanup and launch it.
Step 2: Select the drive you want to clean up (usually the C drive] and press OK.
Step 3: Click the Clean up system files button. Press OK in the prompt to allow it to make changes.
Step 4: Again, select the driver [where your Windows restore points are saved] and click OK.
Step 5: Head to the More Options tab and click the Clean Up button under the ‘System Restore and Shadow Copies section’.
Step 6: Select the Delete button to confirm the action.
6. Remove Browser and Thumbnail Caches
Browser and thumbnail caches are temporary files stored on your computer by web browsers and File Explorer. These caches are used to store data that can be reused later, which can improve the performance of your computer.
However, removing them offers many benefits, like freeing up disk space, improving browser performance, protecting your privacy, reducing the risk of malware infections, and more. Clearing the thumbnail and browser cache is easy if you’re unaware of how to do it, so check our comprehensive guide.
7. Toggle on Storage Sense
Storage Sense is a built-in Windows feature that automatically deletes temporary files, unused applications, and other items you don’t need and frees up space. You can also configure Storage Sense to run manually or on a schedule. Here’s how to enable Storage Sense on your Windows device:
Step 1: Click the Windows icon. Type Settings and select Open.
Step 2: Head to System and choose Storage.
Step 3: Toggle on the button next to Storage Sense. Click Yes in the prompt to allow the tool to change your device.
You can now go ahead and personalize Storage Sense to your needs.
8. Using a Third-Party Tool
Using third-party tools is a simple way to remove junk files on your Windows computer. Many tools can help you clean up junk files, but we’ll use CCleaner for this example.
Step 1: Launch a web browser and head to the CCleaner website. Now, download and install the software.
Step 2: Navigate to the Custom Clean section. Under the Windows and Application tabs, check the boxes next to what you want to remove.
Step 3: Click Analyze to check the files. Now, press the Run Cleaner button and select Continue to confirm your action.
FAQs on Removing Junk Files From Windows
The frequency with which you should remove junk files depends on how often you use your computer and your activities. We recommend removing junk files at least once a month.
Yes, deleting most system junk files is safe and will not affect your device’s functioning.
No, restarting your computer after cleaning junk files is not necessary. However, restarting your computer can help clear out any lingering temporary files and ensure your changes take effect.
Get Rid of Unwanted Files
Cleaning your computer by removing unnecessary files or using tools like Disc Cleanup can help keep your system tidy. However, we suggest being careful when deleting certain files like web browser cookies, as it can cause unexpected issues. We hope this article has helped you remove junk files from your Windows device.
Last updated on 16 November, 2023
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