Whether you keep installing several programs and apps or update your Windows PC regularly, all these activities create temporary files to ensure better experience. Over time, these temporary files can consume a large chunk of your storage space and slow things down. Fortunately, Windows 11 lets you delete these temporary files in a few different ways.
Clearing temporary files is completely safe as it doesn’t affect your data in any way. You can delete these files manually using the Settings app or the Disk Cleanup utility. Alternatively, you can use Storage Sense to automate the process. In this post, we’ll walk you through each of these methods in detail. So, let’s get started.
1. Clear Temporary Files Using the Settings App
The Settings app on Windows gives you a complete breakdown of different temporary files stored on your PC. It lets you view the different temporary files and delete the unwanted ones. Heres how you can do it.
Step 1: Right-click on the Start menu or press the Windows key + X to open the Quick Links menu and select Settings from the list.
Step 2: In the System section, click on Storage on your right.
Step 3: Click on Temporary files.
Step 4: Windows will present you with a list of file types along with the amount of storage occupied.
Step 5: Use the checkboxes to select files that you want to delete. Once selected, you’ll see the amount of storage occupied by the selected files at the top.
This list also includes files you’ve downloaded from the internet and saved in the Downloads folder. If you want to keep those files, make sure you uncheck Downloads.
Step 6: Finally, click on the Remove files button.
And that’s about it. Windows will delete all the temporary files and free up that storage space for you.
2. Clear Temporary Files With Disk Cleanup
Another way to clear temporary files on Windows is via the Disk Cleanup utility. Unlike the Settings app, Disk Cleanup lets you clear temporary files for each drive and partition separately. Here’s how to use it.
Step 1: Click on the Search icon on the Taskbar, type in disk cleanup, and select the first result that appears.
Step 2: Use the drop-down menu to select a drive from which you wish to clear temporary files. Then, click on OK.
Step 3: Under Files to delete, use the checkboxes to select the temporary files you want to remove. You can select a file type to view its description.
Step 4: After you select relevant options, you’ll see how much total storage those files occupy. Next, click on OK to proceed.
Step 5: When a confirmation prompt appears, click on Delete Files button.
Disk Cleanup will start deleting selected temporary files from your PC. Similarly, you can run the Disk Cleanup utility for other drives on your PC.
3. Clear Temporary Files Automatically Using Storage Sense
Although cleaning temporary files is quite easy, deleting these files manually every few weeks can be tedious. Thankfully, Windows 11 also lets you automate this entire process using Storage Sense.
Storage Sense is a built-in tool on Windows that manages your storage by deleting unwanted files at regular intervals. To configure Storage Sense on Windows 11, follow the steps below.
Step 1: Click on the Start button, and select the gear-shaped icon to launch the Settings app. Alternatively, you can also press the Windows key + I shortcut to open the Settings app.
Step 2: In the System section, click on the Storage option.
Step 3: Under Storage management, enable the switch next to Storage Sense.
Step 4: Next, click on Storage Sense to view additional settings.
Step 5: Under Cleanup of temporary files, check the box that reads ‘Keep Windows running smoothly by automatically cleaning up temporary system and app files.’
Step 6: Next, turn on the ‘Automatic User content cleanup’ option to configure cleanup schedules.
Step 7: Use the drop-down menu under Run Storage Sense to select from the available options: Every day, Every week, Every month, or During low free disk space.
You can also configure Storage Sense to delete files from the Recycle Bin and the Downloads folder at regular intervals.
Windows will automatically run storage sense based on the selected configuration and delete temporary files from your PC. Alternatively, you can run the Storage Sense manually by hitting the ‘Run Storage Sense now’ button.
Remove the Unwanted Files
Clearing temporary files is a neat way to free up space on Windows. Especially for those using a small SSD, clearing these temporary files from time to time can help you unlock valuable storage space and improve performance.
Last updated on 18 May, 2022
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