Using the Disk Cleanup Wizard

by Barry Dysert
(last updated January 19, 2015)

2

Windows comes with a handy little utility called the Disk Cleanup Wizard. With the wizard, you can easily delete sets of files that typically collect on your system and consume valuable disk space. It's a good idea, therefore, to get into the habit of periodically running the wizard to help keep your disk clean.

You can invoke the wizard in a couple of ways. One way is by displaying the Control Panel and clicking System and Security. Scroll down and under the Administrative Tools heading you can click the "Free up disk space" link. You can also invoke the wizard through Windows Explorer (Windows 7) or the File Explorer (Windows 8) by right-clicking on the drive you want to clean up, selecting Properties from the context menu, and clicking the Disk Cleanup button.

When the wizard starts, the first thing it does is to calculate how much space can be reclaimed by executing the clean up. This may take a few minutes, and you'll see a progress window like the following as it is doing its calculations. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Disk Cleanup progress window.

When the calculations are finished, the full Disk Cleanup dialog box appears. You can now scroll down through the various categories, check those files you want to be deleted, and clear the files that you don't want to be deleted. As you check and uncheck the boxes, a running total of how much disk space you'll gain is presented in the middle of the screen. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. The Disk Cleanup dialog box.

If you click the More Options tab you have the opportunity to also remove programs that you don't use and/or remove all but the most recent restore point. (If you are using Windows 8 and don't see the More Options tab, click the Clean Up System Files button to force it to be displayed.)

When you're satisfied with your selections, click OK to have the wizard delete the files you indicated should be deleted. Another progress window will display, and when it's finished, the wizard exits.

 This tip (12368) applies to Windows 7 and 8.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 30 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer.  He is currently a senior software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. ...

MORE FROM BARRY

Creating a System Repair Disc

Doing a one-time create of a system repair disk can be worth its weight in gold if you find yourself unable to boot your ...

Discover More

Stopping Windows from Creating Thumbs.db Files

Many times, the automatically created Thumbs.db file is more trouble than it's worth. If you want to stop Windows from ...

Discover More

Renaming Files Using the Command Line

The rename command can really be a timesaver over trying to do the similar sort of thing with Windows Explorer. You can ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Using Notepad

The Notepad editor is about as old as Windows itself, yet it still has its uses even today. Here are some ideas on how to use ...

Discover More

Using the Snipping Tool

Being able to capture portions of the screen can come in handy for a wide variety of reasons. The Windows snipping tool is a ...

Discover More

Capturing a Screen Shot

There are a lot of reasons why you may want to capture screen shots. This tip shows how easy it is to do it.

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is four less than 6?

2015-01-20 03:34:32

Barry

That's odd. I too am running Win7 Professional 64-bit. I see the "More Options" tab without having to do anything special (i.e., my display does not match what's in Figure 2). I have no idea what would make the difference.


2015-01-19 14:38:19

jon halsey

I'm using Win7 Pro 64bit.
My screen looks like your Figure 2. So where is the "More Options" tab? I don't see it in your example or in my box.


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.