Article ID : 00022424 / Last Modified : 12/19/2013

How to remove unnecessary files from the hard drive using the Disk Cleanup utility.

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Follow these steps to remove unnecessary files from the hard drive using the Disk Cleanup utility.

WARNING: There is a risk of data loss. To avoid the unintended loss of data, check the contents of any designated folders before selecting them for cleanup.

NOTE: Files found in temporary directories are files that are temporarily created, stored and used by an application or the operating system to run more quickly or efficiently. It is normally safe to delete these temporary files.

Follow these steps to remove unnecessary files from the hard drive using the Disk Cleanup utility.

  1. Open the File Explorer.

    NOTE: There are four different methods you can use to access the File Explorer:

    • Press the Windows Logo + E key combination.
    • Press the Windows Logo + X key combination, and then click File Explorer.
    • In the new Windows User Interface (UI) Start screen, point to (but do not click) the lower-right or top-right corner of the screen, and in the Search field, type File Explorer and then press the Enter key.
    • In the new Windows User Interface (UI) Start screen, click the Desktop tile, and on the Taskbar, click the File Explorer icon.
  2. In the File Explorer window, right-click Local Disk (C:), and from the menu, click Properties.
  3. In the Local Disk (C:) Properties window, click the Disk Cleanup button.
  4. In the Disk Cleanup Options window, click either My files only or Files from all users on this computer.

    NOTE: If Files from all users on this computer is selected, a prompt for an administrator password or the User Account Control will be displayed. To proceed, type the appropriate password or click Continue.

  5. In the Disk Cleanup for (C:) box, click to select the boxes next to Temporary Files and Temporary Internet Files.

    NOTE: If desired, additional folders can be selected for cleanup at this point. But before proceeding, to avoid the unintended loss of data, check the contents of these folders before selecting them for cleanup.

  6. Once all desired folders have been selected, click the OK button.
  7. In the Are you sure you want to permanently delete these files? box, click the Delete files button.