ARCHIVED: In Windows, what is Disk Cleanup?
In Windows 7, Vista, and XP, Disk Cleanup frees disk space by cleaning areas that gather unneeded files. Using Disk Cleanup regularly, along with ScanDisk, DEFRAG, and up-to-date virus patterns, will help keep your computer running smoothly.
To run Disk Cleanup:
- From the
All Programs, then
System Tools, and then
Note: If this doesn't match what you see, refer to Getting around in Windows.
- Select the drive on which you would like to clear disk space
C:drive), and click
- Select from the four areas that Disk Cleanup will check and clean
- Temporary Internet Files: Files stored on your local drive that allow web pages to load more quickly
- Downloaded Program Files: A storage location for programs downloaded when you visit specific web sites that use ActiveX and Java applets
- Recycle Bin: Files that have been marked as deleted
Temporary Files: Items in the
For more information on what is cleaned up when you select one of these options, highlight any of the options and read the expanded information in the "Description" text box.
Windows 7 and Vista also include a
More Options tab with the
- Programs and Features: Allows you to remove unused programs
- System Restore and Shadow Copies: Allows you to remove old system restore points, including Windows Complete PC Backup images in versions that include them
Windows XP includes the
More Options and
tabs as well. The
More Options tab contains the following:
- Windows Components: Allows you to remove unused Windows components
- Installed Programs: Allows you to remove unused programs
- Drive Converter: Allows you to save space by converting to FAT32
Settings tab allows you to set Disk Cleanup to run
automatically when the computer runs low on disk space.
Last modified on November 07, 2013.