ARCHIVED: In Windows, what is Disk Cleanup?

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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:

  1. From the Start menu, select Programs or All Programs, then Accessories, then System Tools, and then Disk Cleanup.

    Note: If this doesn't match what you see, refer to ARCHIVED: Get around in Windows.

  2. Select the drive on which you would like to clear disk space (usually your C: drive), and click OK.
  3. Select from the four areas that Disk Cleanup will check and clean up:
    • 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 TEMP folder

    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 following:

  • 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 Settings 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

The Settings tab allows you to set Disk Cleanup to run automatically when the computer runs low on disk space.

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Last modified on 2018-01-18 12:46:13.