Free up disk space with Disk Cleanup

Note: This article applies on Window XP, Vista, Window 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10.

If your hard disk is almost full and you’re looking to delete some files on Windows to free up disk space. You can use Disk Cleanup, which is a built-in tool on Windows, to delete temporary files, system files, and other unimportant data on your disk.

Here are common files that you can select to delete on Disk Cleanup

  • Temporary files
    Setup files and temporary installed program in TEMP folder
  • Temporary Internet files
    Files that contain webpage for quick browsing.
  • Recycle bin
    All deleted files in the recycle bin.
  • Previous Windows installation
    If you’ve just upgraded or refresh Windows, it will backup previous version on your system. You can choose to delete those files if you are certain that you don’t need to recover any file back.
  • Windows Update Cleanup
    This option will delete or compress older version of updates that are no longer needed and taking up disk space.
  • System restore point and shadow copies
    If you have system restore enabled on your system, you can choose to delete old system restore points, except only the recent one.

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Step-by-step

  1. Open Run window.
    • (Windows 8.1) Right-click on Windows icon at bottom left and select Run.
    • (Windows 7/8/8.1/10) Press Windows + R keyboard shortcut to open Run window.
  2. Type cleanmgr and click OK
    Type 'cleanmgr' on Run window
  3. Select drive that you want to clean up, usually, it is C drive.
    Select drive to scan on Disk Cleanup
  4. On Disk Cleanup, select option that you want to delete and click OK.
    Select file types to delete on Disk Cleanup
  5. Click Delete Files to confirm.
    Confirm deleting files on Disk Cleanup
  6. If you want to delete any system file, open Disk Cleanup again and select Clean up system files.
    Free-up-disk-space-with-Disk-Cleanup-05
  7. Select drive to scan for system files, usually, it is C drive.
    Select drive to scan for system files on Disk Cleanup
  8. Then, you can select system file types that you want to delete as same as in step 4 and 5. However, if you have several system restore points and you don’t need the older ones, you can delete them by click More options tab.
    Click 'More options' tab on Disk Cleanup
  9. On More options tab, click Clean up… under System Restore and Shadow Copies section and click Delete to confirm.
    Delete system restore point except the recent one

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