Over time as you keep using your computer, system files, cached files, and other unnecessary files keep on pilling up that clog your secondary storage.
Usually, the files are not large enough to cause a sudden shortage of storage on the system, but if it has been ages that cleared anything up or on the flip side, you are running low on space it is better to remove these unnecessary files first.
Moreover, giving your PC some room to breathe in terms of storage can also help maintain its longevity and performance.
Hence, Disk Cleanup is a built-in Windows app that helps you remove these unnecessary files from your system. Furthermore, Disk Cleanup also provides you with bifurcation by category of the files that are no longer needed and can be removed safely from your computer.
Run Disk Cleanup from the Start Menu on Windows 11
In the earlier versions of Windows, the ‘Disk Cleanup’ option could be located on each drive’s ‘Properties’ window. However, it has been now removed, and you can either access the Disk Cleanup wizard via the Start Menu or via the ‘Run’ utility.
To run the Disk Cleanup this way, head to the Start Menu and type Disk Cleanup to perform a search for it. Then, from the search results, click on the ‘Disk Cleanup’ tile to open the wizard.
Alternatively, you can also initiate the Disk Cleanup wizard using the Run utility, to do so, press the Windows+R keys together on your keyboard to bring up the Run utility. Then, type cleanmgrin the text box and hit Enter on your keyboard.
After that, on the Disk Clean up wizard window, click on the drop-down menu to reveal the list of all the storage drives. Then, click to select one of the drives you wish to run the Disk Cleanup on.
Next, click on the ‘OK’ button to let Windows computer all the files that can be cleaned up.
Once computed, another disk cleanup window will open on your screen. By default, some categories of the files would be already selected. You can now scroll the list to view all the files that can be cleaned up and select an individual category by clicking on the checkbox preceding each listing.
Windows will also display the amount of disk space occupied by each file category on the screen. Along with that, as you select multiple categories, you will also be notified of the total amount of space you will be clearing up by deleting the files.
Once you have selected your preferred category of files to delete, click on the ‘OK’ button to proceed. This will bring up an overlay prompt on your screen.
Next, click on the ‘Delete Files’ button to remove all the selected categories of files from your computer.
And that’s it, you have successfully removed all the unnecessary files from your system using the Disk Cleanup.
Cleanup Automatically using Storage Sense on your Windows 11 PC
If you do not wish to do manual labor every time you are running low on disk space and wish to maintain the peak performance of your Windows PC, you can also enable Storage Sense on your PC.
Storage Sense automatically cleans up your storage drives when your PC is running low on space, moreover, it can also clean up temporary system files and app files. You can also create a schedule to run Storage Sense periodically on your Windows 11 PC.
To enable Storage Sense, head to the Start Menu and click on the ‘Settings’ tile present under the ‘Pinned apps’ section. Otherwise, you can also type Settings into the menu to perform a search for it.
After that, on the ‘Settings’ window, make sure you have selected the ‘System’ tab present on the left sidebar of the window to continue.
Then, from the right section of the window, locate and click on the ‘Storage’ tile to proceed.
On the next screen, locate the ‘Storage management’ section and click on the toggle switch present on the far right edge of the tile to bring it to the ‘On’ position.
Now, if you wish to tweak Storage Sense settings, click on the tile to proceed.
After that, on the next screen, click on the checkbox preceding the single option present under the ‘Clean up temporary files’ section to clean up temporary system files and app files automatically.
Next, if you wish to create a periodic schedule for Storage Sense, head to the ‘Configure cleanup schedules’ section. Then, click on the drop-down menu present under the ‘Run Storage Sense’ option.
After that, click to select a preferred frequency. If you are constantly storing heaps of data and are always low on storage memory, choosing the ‘Weekly’ frequency would be recommended.
Next, click on the drop-down menu available under the ‘Delete my files in recycle if they have been there for over’ option and select a period of days you are comfortable with to permanently delete your files from the system.
Now, if you wish to delete files in your ‘Downloads’ folder that you have not opened for some time, click on the drop-down menu present under the ‘Delete files in my Downloads folder if they haven’t been opened for more than’ option.
Then, click to choose the number of days you are comfortable with deleting the downloaded files.
Once you have configured the settings according to your preference, click on the ‘Run Storage Sense now’ button present at the bottom of the page to run the wizard immediately.
There you go people, make sure to always have some free storage memory on your computer to maintain its optimum performance.