How to Use Disk Cleanup to Free Up Space in Windows

Disk Cleanup cleans unnecessary files, boosts your computer’s performance and frees up space.

The Windows system offers several methods for cleaning up your computer’s memory with various system-cleaning programs, such as the Disk Cleanup tool, while Command Prompt is a lesser-known method for cleaning up your computer.

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In the fast-paced digital era, where every megabyte of storage matters, learning how to efficiently manage your computer’s disk space is crucial. This guide will walk you through the ins and outs of using Disk Cleanup, a built-in tool in Windows, to free up valuable space on your hard drive.

Why Disk Cleanup Matters

Before we delve into the step-by-step process, let’s understand why Storage Cleanup is a must for every Windows user. Over time, your computer accumulates unnecessary files, temporary data, and system files that hog precious disk space.

Disk Cleanup is your virtual broom, sweeping away these digital dust bunnies and ensuring your system runs smoothly.

Boost Your PC Speed with Memory Cleanup

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows and R keys at the same time to open the Run window.
  2. Type cleanmgr, then press ENTER. The Disk Cleanup window should appear.
  3. Select the drive you want to clean, then click OK.
  4. Check the boxes for the file types that you want to delete, and then click OK.
  5. Need more space? You can also click the Clean up system files button to remove extra Windows files.
  6. In the message that appears, click Delete files.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleanup Disk

Accessing Disk Cleanup

Begin by locating the Disk Memory Cleanup tool on your Windows computer. You can find it by searching in the Start menu or right-clicking on a drive in File Explorer, selecting ‘Properties,’ and then clicking on ‘Disk Cleanup.’

Selecting the Drive to Clean

Once in Storage Cleanup, choose the drive you want to clean. Typically, the tool automatically selects the drive where Windows is installed, but you can choose additional drives if needed.

Understanding Cleanup Options

Memory Cleanup presents you with a list of file categories to clean, including temporary files, system files, and more. Click on each category to view a brief description and select the types of files you want to delete.

Reviewing Files to Delete

Before confirming the cleanup, review the list of files that will be deleted. Ensure that you’re not removing anything important. If you’re uncertain about a particular file category, use the ‘Files from all users on this computer’ option for a comprehensive cleanup.

Initiating the Cleanup Process

Click ‘OK‘ to start the cleanup. Depending on your system’s speed and the amount of data to be cleared, this process may take some time. Once completed, you’ll notice a significant increase in available disk space.

Benefits of Regular Disk Storage Cleanup

Performing regular Disk Cleanup offers several advantages. It not only frees up space but also enhances your computer’s overall performance. By removing unnecessary files, you reduce the load on your storage device, resulting in faster system operations.

Common Disk Cleanup Mistakes to Avoid

While Memory Cleanup is a powerful tool, there are common mistakes users make. One such error is blindly deleting files without understanding their purpose. Always review the files before confirming the cleanup to prevent accidental deletion of crucial data.

Alternative Methods for Freeing Up Space

Memory Cleanup is just one piece of the puzzle. Consider these alternative methods to keep your storage in top shape:

Uninstalling Unnecessary Programs

Unused programs can occupy significant space. Uninstall those you no longer need through the ‘Add or Remove Programs’ feature.

Managing System Restore Points

System Restore points consume space. Adjust the settings to limit the space allocated to these points or create them less frequently.

Clearing Browser Cache and Temporary Files

Web browsers accumulate caches and temporary files. Regularly clear these through browser settings to reclaim space.

Transferring Files to External Storage

For large files or documents you rarely use, consider transferring them to external storage devices to free up internal space.

How to Cleanup Your Disk to Improve System Performance

Beyond creating space, Storage Cleanup contributes to a smoother user experience. Reduced clutter on the hard drive means quicker access to files and applications, ultimately optimizing your system’s speed.

Troubleshooting Disk Cleanup Issues

Disk Cleanup Not Working

If Memory Cleanup stalls or fails to work, restart your computer and try again. If issues persist, run the Windows Update tool to ensure your operating system is up to date.

Disk Cleanup Taking Too Long

For lengthy cleanup processes, ensure you’ve selected only the necessary file categories. Additionally, consider scheduling Storage Cleanup during periods of low system usage.

Disk Cleanup Frequency: How Often Should You Do It?

The frequency of Storage Cleanup depends on your computer usage. As a general rule, aim for a cleanup every few weeks. However, if you frequently download or install large files, consider more frequent cleanups.


Mastering the art of Storage Cleanup is a simple yet impactful way to keep your Windows system running smoothly. By incorporating this routine maintenance task into your computer habits, you’ll enjoy a faster, more efficient computing experience.

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