Similar to any other device you use, the storage space of your computer requires to be cleaned once in a while to keep things operating without any error. “Temporary” data can be permanently left behind, and big updates to the operating system might generate a huge amount of backup data that you might never use.
Many apps for cleaning junk file go too far, such as removing cache of your web browser, which will refill itself anyway eventually and whose files assist you to load sites quickly. Today we will show you how to clean up junk files on your Windows 10 device.
The Disk Cleanup Tool
Every computer has a Disk Cleanup tool. All you need to do is use it by following these steps.
Step 1: Find the Disk Cleanup tool by tapping the Start button.
Step 2: Now type “disk cleanup” and click the Disk Cleanup shortcut in the search results.
Step 3: Move this shortcut to your desktop by clicking and dragging it for simpler access in the future.
Step 4: You can get hold of the tool by right-clicking in File Explorer on a storage device. Next, select Properties and click the button for Disk Cleanup present on the right side of the pie chart.
If the shortcut does not show up in search results, type “free up disk space” instead of typing “disk cleanup.” This might make things easy.
If you have loads of stuff to erase, it might consume several minutes to examine your device and get your stuff organized for erasing. After the process ends, you will be shown a new window listing things that are safe to erase. Some boxes are even checked by default, such as the one for Temporary Internet Files.
Dealing With Thumbnails
The Disk Cleanup tool has one option item particularly for thumbnails. Thumbnails comprise things such as picture previews and app icons. But if you erase this cache, Windows will have to recreate those pictures the next time you see a folder with a lot of icons or media in it. Every thumbnail will also consume time to regenerate, so a big folder might consume a lot of time to recreate its cache. If you are looking for a particular video or picture, you might have to wait till the thumbnail has been generated, unless you are aware of its name.
We suggest leaving the Thumbnails option in Disk Cleanup unchecked, except the cache size is generating issues with your obtainable free space.
Browser And Thumbnail Caches
Thumbnail and browser caches can use up a lot of space. When you load a website, it gets amassed for faster access in the future, so removing the cache can make browsing slower in future.
Firefox and Chrome caches get erased from within those applications with the help of a menu. This menu can be used by pressing key combination Ctrl + Shift + Delete when using the browser. It is preferable to do it inside the app since you get more detailed access over what you need to get rid of and what to keep. While erasing your browser cache frees up space temporarily, it does not hurt to occasionally erase it clean and start again, if you have privacy or security concerns.
Windows utilizes System Restore to maintain system files in case they are corrupted or deleted accidentally. A system restore is similar to a snapshot or bookmark that the OS can go back to. It does not back up the complete contents of your device, so it might not assist you if you cannot boot OS at all. And these episodic bookmarks can end up consuming a huge piece of storage. In fact, in Windows 10 and 8, System Restore is by default disabled, so you should not mess with its settings unless you have turned on the feature.
Unluckily, Windows does not allow you to select which restore points you need to keep, nor does it simply tell you how much storage your restore points are consuming. The Disk Cleanup tool allows you to erase all but the latest one, and that’s it. To do so, here are the steps that you need to follow.
Step 1: Go to the Disk Cleanup >> Clean up system files >> More Options tab.
Step 2: Next, go down to the System Restore and Shadow Copies >> Clean Up >> Delete.
If you need to erase all your restore points, you require a different tool. Here are the steps that you need to follow.
Step 1: Go to Start >> right-click Computer >> Properties >> System Protection >> Configure >> System Restore settings.
Step 2: If you do not have a Computer shortcut on your desktop or on your Start menu, click Start. Type “computer” to see it in your search results. Right-click it, choose Properties >> System Protection >> Configure.
Step 3: You can turn off System Restore, tell OS what amount of storage you wish to allocate for System Restore, and tap Delete button to erase all restore points.
By default, Windows 7 keeps almost 5% aside of your space for restore points. So, theoretically, it will not get crowded. But if you have a full-fetched storage device, that 5% can consume a whole lot space that might be better employed elsewhere. And in general, generating system backup pics and storing them on an external hard drive will offer you more consistent results and better control.
The biggest consumers of your storage space are possibly system files, so tap the button for Clean up system files to access them. This will perform one more analysis, which can consume more time, particularly if it detects those backup files of Windows Update that we spoke of earlier. Next, it will load a window that seems precisely the same as the window for analysis results you saw in Disk Cleanup.
However, this time there are extra items in the catalog. If you are using Windows 7, you might see several GBs of Service Pack Backup Files listed. Theoretically, this archive can be employed to undo a service pack. Practically, it consumes a huge amount of space, and it would be more reliable and quicker to just restore from an earlier backup picture as compared to undoing a service pack.
Managing The Recycle Bin
When you erase a file, Windows does not delete it by default. The file just gets dumped in the Recycle Bin, where it will remain until you tell the OS to remove it from the bin. So the bin requires to be checked occasionally to make certain your storage is not being consumed up by huge files you no longer require.
You can also amend how much space the Recycle Bin employs. Here are the steps that you need to follow.
Step 1: Go to the File Explorer (press Windows + E).
Step 2: Next, find the bin in the left-hand pane and right-click it.
Step 3: Tap on Properties. Here, you can tell Windows the utmost amount of storage you wish to employ for the bin. The default is 5% of the storage capacity of your C: drive. You can increase that to 10%. You can also tell OS to skip the bin altogether when you try to delete a file. Lastly, click OK to save the changes.
Cutting to the chase, you just had a look at how to clean junk files on your Windows 10 device. Do let us know your feedback by commenting below.
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