Over time and with its use, Windows becomes cluttered with multiple temporary files – like all operating systems – including updates and the Internet. Files that needlessly take up storage space, but which are difficult, if not impossible, to delete manually, because they are almost invisible – more precisely, they are scattered in well-buried folders. Deleting temporary files is one of the best ways to free up a certain amount of free space on your Windows 11 operating system. Here we will explain how to get rid of those unnecessary files that take up space on your hard drive or SSD.
What are temporary files in Windows 11?
As a reminder, temporary files are files that applications created to temporarily store information. The Windows 11 operating system also keeps temporary files such as old installation files, error reports or even log files. Though temporary files do not cause any problem in the system, they can still take up disk space unnecessarily. So it is advised to delete Windows 11 temporary files from time to time in order to prevent your hard drive / SSD from getting cluttered
Delete Temporary Files in Windows 11
Step 1: Open Windows 11 Disk Cleanup Tool
- You need to type the Windows keyboard shortcut + R to open the Run window.
- In the input field, type cleanmgr, and press the Enter key or click the OK button.
- If you have multiple multiple disks/partitions on your PC, a window titled Disk Cleanup: Drive Selection appears, asking you to select the drive to clean.
- Click on the drop-down menu to select the drive concerned from the list, then click OK to validate. You have to select the disk on which Windows is installed, the drive (C : ) in general.
- Suppose you only have only one disk, then drive (C : ) is selected by default.
Step 2: Clear Temporary Files
- Now the Disk Cleanup window appears. In the Files to delete list, check all the boxes except Downloads to keep the files you downloaded on your PC (However, you can still delete them individually by hand, if necessary, by opening the Downloads folder).
- If you have any doubts, you can click on an item in the list: a description will appear below, with the space occupied.
- When your selection is complete, you need to click the Cleanup system files button at the bottom left.
- A warning window appears where Windows asks you to confirm the disk to clean. Confirm by clicking on OK.
- Another window appears, showing the progress of the scan. The time varies depending on the size and nature (hard drive or SSD) of the selected drive.
- After scanning, the Disk Cleanup window reappears, but the list of items to remove is slightly different. Check everything except Downloads, Windows Defender Antivirus, and Windows Upgrade Log Files, which may still be useful. Click on OK to validate.
- Now a warning window will appear, informing you that files will be permanently deleted. Click Delete Files.
- This time again, another window opens, showing the progress of the cleaning. It will close automatically when the cleaning is finished.