Disk Cleanup in Windows 11: How to Access it & Free up Space

Clean up your computer and remove applications you no longer use to boost its performance

by Claudiu Andone
Claudiu Andone
Claudiu Andone
Oldtimer in the tech and science press, Claudiu is focused on whatever comes new from Microsoft. His abrupt interest in computers started when he saw the first Home... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Disk Cleanup is a Windows 11 app that helps you eliminate unnecessary files and free up storage space.
  • You can clean up your disk by uninstalling unused apps or enabling Storage Sense.
  • If you’re not ready to perform a bulk delete action, you may remove only the temporary files.
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In time, your system fills out with unnecessary files that take up space and clog your PC, eventually slowing down. So, it’s essential to run Disk Cleanup in Windows 11 occasionally to get rid of that data and free up some space on your drive.

In Windows 11, there aren’t many changes regarding the procedures needed to do that, so if you know how it goes in Windows 10, it will seem familiar to you.

You must know a few things about the Disk Cleanup tool in Windows 11 and the storage space on the computer. So, let’s walk you through that first.

Does Windows 11 have Disk Cleanup?

Disk Cleanup was first introduced in Windows 98 and has since been a part of every iteration of the OS, including Windows 11.

The latest iteration has a slightly advanced form accessible via the Settings app, allowing users to clear the storage space quickly, but the Disk Cleanup utility is still available.

How do I free up disk space on Windows 11?

Experts recommend using the Disk Cleanup tool periodically to free up disk space. Alternatively, you can uninstall whatever piece of software you are not using that is unnecessary for the system to run.

Tip icon Tip
To get the desired outcome faster, we recommend Fortect, which will scan your PC and eliminate unnecessary junk files.

What is Disk Cleanup in Windows 11?

Your hard drive includes both permanent and temporary files in Windows 11 and the Page File, an extension of the memory employed when your computer starts running out of RAM.

The Disk Clean-up tool that comes with Windows 11 gives you assistance in removing files from your computer that are unnecessary or duplicates of other files.

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There is more than one option for deleting files on the market nowadays. Some are thorough enough to make restoring the files previously stored on your personal computer impossible.

Where is Disk Cleanup in Windows 11?

Simply enter disk cleanup into the search box on the taskbar, and you will immediately find the utility.

In this article

How to do Disk Cleanup on Windows 11?

1. Via Drive Properties

1. Press the Windows key + E keys combination to start File Manager.

file manager on windows 11

2. Click on This PC.

file manager windows 11 this pc

3. Now right-click the C: drive and select Properties from the drop-down menu.

windows 11 file manager drive properties

4. In the General tab, click on Disk Cleanup to start the app.

windows 11 disk cleanup how to

5. Select the data you want to delete by clicking the corresponding boxes, then on OK.

disk cleanup windows 11 settings

For a complete cleaning of your computer, you should use the Disk Cleanup feature. The easiest way to access it is via Drive Properties, a built-in menu on your PC. From there, you can select which files you want to keep and which to delete.

2. Clean up the disk using Run

  1. Press the Windows + R shortcut on your keyboard to start Run.run windows 11 dialog
  2. Type the following line and press Enter to run it: cleanmgr /VERYLOWDISKcleannmngr command cmd
  3. After the command has run, you will receive a report of how much space you’ve managed to free up.saved space on disk

You can also use the following command to clean up your disk, but it will erase less data than with the command provided in our steps above:cleanmgr /LOWDISK

If you want to choose which files to clean, use this Disk Cleanup command, and then press Enter to run it:cleanmgr /sageset:1

It will start the Disk Cleanup utility with a minimum of options checked, but you can click the boxes you want from the menu.

3. Enable Storage Sense

  1. Click the Windows button and select Settings.windows 11 settings
  2. Access the System option from the right and select Storage.storage settings windows 11
  3. Now toggle the Storage Sense button to On.windows 11 sense
  4. If you click on the Storage Sense option further, you can configure it. By default, the feature will start to clean up unnecessary files in a low disk space situation. You can change that by clicking on the Run Storage Sense menu.windows 11 sense settings
  5. Select the right option for you to act automatically. You can choose from three settings: daily, weekly or monthly.windows 11 sense menu

Storage Sense is the automatic cleaning option that you can also find in Windows 10. If you don’t set it up, it will only be triggered when your disk space is low.

However, if you follow the steps above, you can enable Storage Sense in Windows 11 and configure it to start within desired time intervals so that you don’t need to do that manually again.

4. Remove temporary files

  1. Press the Windows + R to start the Run app, type %tmp%, and press Enter or click OK.windows 11 temp
  2. The action will open a File Manager app containing the Temp folder on your PC.windows 11 file manager
  3. Press the Ctrl + A shortcut to select all the files and folders, then right-click on them and select the Delete option (the bin icon). You can just hit the Delete key on your keyboard after selecting the files.windows 11 delete bulk

If you’re not ready to perform a bulk delete action using the Disk Cleanup tool in Windows 11, you can delete the junk files from the Temp folder on your PC.

Is it good to run Disk Cleanup?

Deleting most of the file categories that appear in Disk Cleanup is perfectly safe. But, it’s recommended that you don’t delete the Windows ESD installation files if the option shows up since these are critical to reset the OS.

Also, you may look through the other categories to identify if any sound files are selected, though deleting them should not harm. You might only miss the ability to revert to the previous version, and you can always do that using the Microsoft Update Catalog.

How to increase the drive space on your PC?

You might be in a situation where you run out of space on your drive, but you have already deleted all unnecessary files, folders, or programs.

However, you have a couple of options that you can use to increase the available space.

1. Extend your system partition

Note icon NOTE
This is an advanced procedure so make sure you backup data on your drives before starting.
  1. Click the Windows search icon from Taskbar, type create and format, and click on Create and format hard disk partitions from the results.windows 11 create and format
  2. Right-click the non-system partition and select Delete Volume from the menu. Be aware that this action will delete all the data from that partition. Also, make sure that you don’t select the system partition instead.windows 11 delete volume
  3. Now right-click your system partition (usually, it’s the C: partition) and select the Extend Volume option.windows 11 extend volume
  4. Windows will automatically allocate all the free space to the system drive you selected, thus increasing its amount of space.

You can delete an existing non-system partition to achieve your goal if you have more partitions on your drive.

2. Upgrade your PC or buy an external drive

Eventually, if nothing else works and you need more space, you’re only left with the option to install a new internal or external drive on your PC.

We have an excellent list, including the best external SSD drives with USB-C connections that will solve the space problem and are faster than HDDs.

Drive space can be problematic if you’re trying to install or run more demanding apps, and Disk Cleanup is the first and most convenient option to free up some valuable space.

The amount of drive space you clean depends on how many applications you installed and how long you used your PC.

However, besides running the Disk Cleanup app, you can manually uninstall the apps you no longer use.

We hope our guide helped you use the Disk Cleanup app and provided information on how to free up space on your computer or upgrade your storage.

Also, check out the best deep clean hard drive software that will assist you in optimizing the drive space.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave them in the comments section below.

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