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How to Remove Junk Files in Windows 10



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Just like your fridge, the storage space of a computer occasionally needs to be cleaned to keep things running smoothly. "Temporary" files may persist permanently, and large updates to Windows may produce many gigabytes of backup files that you will never use.

However, many junk file cleanup apps go too far, such as deleting your web browser cache, which fills up over time and makes its files easier to load. Let us show you how you can clean up with the built-in tools of Windows itself.

The Disk Cleanup Tool

Each storage device in your computer has access to the Disk Cleanup utility. Click Start type "disk cleanup" (whenever I want to type something, I mean without quotes) and click the Disk Cleanup link in your search results. Click this shortcut and drag it to your desktop or taskbar for easier access next time. You can also find the tool by right-clicking a storage device in File Explorer, selecting Properties and clicking the Disk Cleanup button to the right of the pie chart.

Sometimes The link does not appear in the search results. If so, enter "Free up space" instead of "Disk Cleanup." A sentence may work if the name of the program is not the case.

If you have a lot of material to clean up, it may take a few minutes for your application to be parsed and your cruft to be cleared. Once this is done, a new window appears with a list of things that can be safely deleted. Some boxes are even pre-checked, such as the Temporary Internet Files box.

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<h2>  Browser and Thumbnail Caches </h2>
<p>  Browser and thumbnail caches can take several gigabytes. When you load a web page, it is stored here for faster access. Clearing the cache memory may slow down future browsing. </p>
<p>  Chrome and Firefox caches in these apps are removed from a menu that you can press by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Delete when the browser is open. It is preferable to do this in the browser as you can control in more detail what you want to keep. </p>
<p>  Clearing your browser's cache is temporary, but it does not hurt to periodically clear the window and start over again if you have security or privacy concerns. </p>
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<h2>  Handling Thumbnails </h2>
<p>  The Disk Cleanup tool includes a list entry dedicated to thumbnails. The thumbnails include icons such as app icons and image previews. If you empty this cache, you will need to rebuild those images the next time you view a folder with many media or icons. Rebuilding each thumbnail also takes some time. Therefore, it may take several minutes for a large folder to rebuild its cache. When searching for a particular picture or video, you may need to wait for the thumbnail to be created unless you know the file name. </p><div><script async src=

We recommend that you do not enable the Thumbnails item in Disk Cleanup unless the cache size causes problems with the available free space.

System files

The largest hard disk drives in your hard disk space are probably system files. Therefore, click Clean system files to access them. This will perform another analysis, which may take several minutes, especially if the aforementioned Windows Update backup files are detected. Then a window is loaded that exactly matches the analysis results window you saw in Disk Cleanup.

This time, however, there are more items in the list. If you use Windows 7 (21 USD on Amazon) you may see several gigabytes of Service Pack backup files listed. Theoretically, this archive can be used to undo a service pack. In practice, a lot of space is required and it is faster and more reliable to just restore a previous backup image than to undo a service pack.

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Tom McNamara / CNET

System Restore

Windows uses System Restore to retain system files if they were accidentally deleted or corrupted. A system restore is like a bookmark or a snapshot to which the operating system can return. Not all the contents of your storage device are backed up, so you may not be able to help if you can not start Windows at all. And these periodic bookmarks can take up a lot of space. Typically, System Restore is disabled by default in Windows 8 and 10. So you should not worry about the settings unless you have activated the function yourself.

Unfortunately, Windows does not let you choose what you want to keep, and you can not easily tell how much space your recovery points are taking. You can use the Disk Cleanup Tool to erase everything but the latest, and that's it. Go to the Disk Cleanup utility. Click Clean up the system files then go to the More Options tab, then go to the System Restore and Shadow Copies section, and then click the Clean button Up button and finally the button Delete to confirm.

Do you want to delete all your recovery points? For this you need another tool. Click the Start Menu Button, Right-Click Computer Select Properties click the link on the left System Protection and click . Configure the button to access your system recovery settings. If you do not have a computer shortcut on the Start menu or on your desktop, click the Start button, type "Computer" to display the search results. Right-click on it and select Properties . and you are in the window where you click System Protection. Then click Configure .

You can disable System Restore altogether, specify Windows the percentage of space you want to reserve for System Restore, and click the Delete button to delete all Restore Points. This screen also shows how much disk space your system recovery points are using. By default, Windows 7 provides about 5 percent of your recovery point storage device. Theoretically, it will not be crowded. However, if you have a roomy storage device, these five percent can contribute to a lot of gigabytes that can be better used elsewhere. Creating a system backup image and saving it to an external drive (or even the cloud) gives you better overall control and more consistent results.

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Tom McNamara / CNET

The Hibernation Cache

When you turn off your Windows device, you can open your open apps and files in a large file, the Hibernate Cache, to determine where you left off when you left your PC turn on later. Alternatively, the sleep mode stores this data in the system RAM and puts the device in a power saving mode. At rest, the battery is not consumed, so this is better for laptops and tablets. However, booting takes longer than recovering from the power-saving mode, which is more or less instantaneous, so you will have to forego some convenience.

If your Windows device is normally plugged into a wall outlet, sleep may not be as useful as sleep mode, you should be able to disable the hibernation cache without any side effects. The space you save is about the same as the memory of your device.

To disable hibernation, click the Start button, type "cmd", right-click cmd.exe and select Run as Administrator and click to confirm Yes. This is the Windows command prompt. Add "powercfg.exe / hibernate off" to the command prompt. However, Ctrl-V does not work in Windows 7. Instead, you must right-click in the window and select Paste. Then, press ENTER. If you want to re-enable hibernation later, add "powercfg.exe / hibernate on". The change takes effect immediately.

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Tom McNamara / CNET

Managing the Recycle Bin

When you delete a file, Windows does not delete it by default. The file is simply moved to the trash and stays there until you tell Windows to empty the trash. Therefore, the shelf must be regularly checked to make sure that the space is not used for large files that you no longer need.

You can also set how much space the trash needs. To do this, open File Explorer (press Windows + E ), locate the clipboard in the left pane, right-click on it, and select Properties . The bin may not be displayed by default. In this case, right-click in the left pane and select Show All Folders . (The bin is technically a folder.)

The Trash Properties window lets you specify the maximum amount of space that you want to use for the bin. The default value is 5 percent of your C drive's storage capacity, and you can increase it to 10 percent. You can also tell Windows to completely skip the clipboard and disable the confirmation prompt that appears when you try to delete a file. When you have finished making your changes, click the OK button to save it.

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