Unorganized and uncleaned spaces tend to accumulate clutter.This is no exception when it comes to your computer.The more you use your computer, the more garbage it accumulates.
On slower drives, like traditional hard drives, junk files can slow your operating system to a crawl.Therefore, cleaning them frequently can help improve performance. Windows 10 has built-in tools to remove most junk files, and if there is still something, you can clean it up manually.We'll show you how.
Why clean up your junk files in Windows 10?
Junk documents, like junk food, do no good.Instead, it can make your system difficult to manage.On PCs with small-scale SSDs, you may experience insufficient storage and performance issues.
Removing junk can help you keep your files and folders organized, save a lot of valuable storage space, and improve system performance because your computer no longer has to churn through files that are useless to you.
Different Types of Junk Files in Windows Computers
A variety of sources can create a junk file on your computer, from the remnants of uninstalling programs to cute wallpapers you downloaded long ago but eventually got tired of.Below are a few common types of junk files found on most systems.
Files in Recycle Bin: Files discarded in Recycle Bin may be unnecessary, but remain in folders, sometimes taking up gigabytes of storage space.
Windows Temporary Files: These are temporarily used junk files that become redundant once the current task is complete.
Windows and third-party software residue: When a program is uninstalled, not all files associated with the software are removed.This usually conflicts with other programs you are trying to use.
Downloads: The Downloads folder usually takes up a lot of your storage space.Often, it contains unwanted installers, images, videos, and other redundant documents that have accumulated over time.
Thumbnails and thumbnail photos can be considered junk files.However, you don't need to clean them unless necessary.If cleaned up, your system will have to generate thumbnails again, which may slow things down.
Create a recovery point before cleaning junk files
System Restore in Windows allows you to undo system changes by restoring your computer to a previous restore point.It's very useful if you delete a critical system file and run into problems.
Once you're ready, continue with the steps below.
1. Empty the recycle bin to free up space
The Recycle Bin stores all the files you delete from your computer.This is a handy tool because if you accidentally drop any files, you can restore the deleted files.However, if it's not cleaned regularly, it can accumulate into gigabytes of files that eat into your storage space.
Fortunately, cleaning the Recycle Bin is easy.You can select and delete individual files permanently, or empty them all at once.
1. Open the Recycle Bin from the desktop.If you don't have a desktop shortcut available, type Recycle Bin into the Windows search bar and click Best Match.
2. Go through the deleted files.If you want to recover any file, right click and select Recover.
3. To delete all, right-click inside the folder and select Empty Recycle Bin.
4. You can also do this from the desktop.Right-click the Recycle Bin shortcut and select Empty Recycle Bin.Click "Yes" to confirm the action.
2. Clean up temp files to remove junk
Temporary files are automatically created to hold information about files in use.These files are deleted once the task is complete.Temporary files are stored in Windows' Temp folder, and you can manually clean up temporary files to free up Windows disk space.
To clear temporary files:
1. Press Win + R to open Run.
2. Enter %temp% and click OK.
3. In the temporary folder, press Ctrl + A to select all files, then press Delete.Click Skip for any file that appears to be in use.
Plus, Windows 10 comes with Storage Sense, a built-in feature that cleans up junk files from multiple sources.You can configure it to automatically delete temporary files if you want.
To set up Storage Sense to delete temporary files, go to Settings > System > Storage.Flip the switch to enable Storage Sense.Next, click Configure Storage Sense or run it now.
Choose when you want to run Storage Sense.Under Temporary files, tick the option Delete temporary files that are not used by my application.
3. Use Disk Cleanup to delete junk files
Disk Cleanup in Windows is a one-stop solution for cleaning up junk files from your computer.It scans and calculates how much space you can free on the selected drive.
With Disk Cleanup, you can get rid of junk files such as downloads, temporary Windows installation files, temporary internet files, delivery optimized files, Recycle Bin, and more.
Here's how to use Disk Cleanup:
1. In the Windows search bar, type "disk cleanup" and hit enter to launch the tool.
2. Select a drive you want to clean and click OK.It will scan selected drives for junk files from multiple and common sources.
3. Next, the tool will pop up on the screen how much space you can free up by deleting different junk files.
4. Check the boxes to select the file types you want to clean.To see which files will be deleted, click View files.
5. Click Clean up system files to view temporary Windows installation files and device driver packages.
6. Click OK to delete junk files.Select Delete file to confirm the action.
Do not tick the "Thumbnail" box.Removing the thumbnail cache can free up several megabytes of storage space.However, when you look for a file, the system will have to regenerate them, which will slow down your computer.
4. Clean up restore points
A system restore point can be a lifesaver.However, too many restore points can take up unnecessary space on your storage drive.While Windows doesn't show how much space a system restore point takes up, you can delete old restore points to free up more space.
You can clean up restore points from Disk Cleanup.Recovery point cleanup will delete all but the most recent recovery points.Here's how to do it.
1. In the "Disk Cleanup" tool, click the "Clean up system files" button.
2. Select a drive and click "OK" to start the scan.
3. Next, open the "More Options" tab.
4. Under "System Restore and Shadow Copies", click the "Clean Up" button.
5. Select Delete to confirm the action.
Alternatively, you can specify disk space usage for restore points.This is useful if you don't want to deal with deleting restore points frequently.
To specify disk usage for restore points:
1. Press the Win key and enter a restore point.
2. Next, click the Create Restore Point option to open the System Properties dialog.
3. In the "System Protection" tab, click the "Configure" button under the "Protection Settings" section.
4. In the dialog box that pops up, adjust the Maximum usage slider to specify the disk usage space.
5. Click "Apply" and "OK" to save the changes.
Delete junk files to improve Windows 10 performance
Junk files are not a pretty sight and can negatively impact your system performance.However, you can manually clean up junk, or run Disk Cleanup regularly to keep your system clean.
To gain more space, remove unnecessary programs from the system, such as bloatware, third-party system cleanup tools, and other redundant applications.
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