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How to Use Disk Cleanup in Windows 10

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Using Windows 10’s Disk Cleanup utility, you can get rid of unwanted files and free up your storage space. The tool finds unnecessary files on its own, so you don’t have to manually locate any items. We’ll show you how to use this useful tool on your PC.

Generally, the tool only gives you options to delete files that don’t affect your system. However, you can review the files before they’re deleted to make sure they aren’t important, and we’ll give you some advice on making that judgment.

Remove Unwanted Files on Windows Using Disk Cleanup

To begin cleaning your PC, launch the Disk Cleanup tool. You can do that by opening the “Start” menu, searching for “Disk Cleanup”, and selecting the app in the search results.

Select Disk Cleanup.

Disk Cleanup will prompt you to choose the drive to clean. Here, since most of your temporary (unwanted) files are stored on the Windows installation drive, select that drive. You’re free to choose another drive if you want.

Then, select “OK.”

Wait for the tool to scan your drive and find unwanted files. This can take some time depending on your drive’s size.

Once the scan is finished, you’ll see the file types that you can remove from your PC. Click each file type and you’ll see more details about it.

Note that the tool may recommend deleting “Windows ESD Installation Files,” but you shouldn’t delete them. This is because Windows uses those files to help you reset your PC.

Here’s what each file type means in Disk Cleanup:

  • Downloaded Program Files: These are temporary ActiveX and Java applet files that were downloaded to let you view your content. You can safely delete these files.
  • Temporary Internet Files: These are the cache files for Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer. You can delete these files without any issues. Note that this won’t delete your Chrome or Firefox cache.
  • Windows Error Reports and Feedback: These are various Windows error reports and feedback generated on your system. You can delete them.
  • Delivery Optimization Files: These files are used to upload Windows Updates to other PCs. Feel free to remove these files.
  • Recycle Bin: Choosing this option deletes the files currently sitting in Recycle Bin.
  • Temporary Files: This option deletes your apps’ various temporary files. It only removes the files that haven’t been used recently.
  • Thumbnails: These are the thumbnails of your various file types. You can delete them and Windows will recreate them when you open your folders.

When you’ve chosen the items to delete, at the bottom of the Disk Cleanup window, choose “OK.”

Choose “Delete Files” in the prompt and the tool will start removing your files. You’ll then be all set.

Enjoy a clean Windows PC!

RELATED: 7 Ways To Free Up Hard Disk Space On Windows

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