Does your hard disk need a good jet wash? (Metaphorically, obvs.) But you can’t find the handy Disk Cleanup tool that used to be in the Windows Start Menu? Relax, it’s still there. It’s just a little harder to find these days.
How to find Disk Cleanup
By far the easiest way to find Disk Cleanup is simply to type those two magic words into the Windows 10 search box in the bottom-left corner of the screen. You should see the utility appear in the search results.
Once you’ve clicked on it, you’ll be asked which disk you want to delouse. Your computer’s main hard disk or SSD normally resides at C://.
Once the disk has been chosen, the Disk Cleanup utility will spend a short while analysing the contents of your disk and come back with a report telling you how much space can be cleared.
By default, the utility operates conservatively. Here, for example, you can see it wants to save me a piddling 5MB of disk space by clearing out my thumbnail images, but will leave the 14.7GB of guff in my Recycle Bin untouched unless I tick the box next to it.
Go through the list and get shot of anything you don’t need. None of the categories that the Disk Cleanup tool offers to clear out are absolutely critical to the healthy running of your PC, so don’t be too timid.
You’ll also notice the option there to “Clean up system files”. This will perform another quick scan, locating stuff such as old Windows Update downloads and other operating system files that can be removed. These will be added to the list that was generated when you first ran the tool.
As you can see below, the tool discovered another 2.87GB of old Windows Update files that could be zonked from my machine, although once again I’ll need to tick the box to remove them.
When you’ve ticked all the boxes you want to get shot of, click OK to banish the files and free up your disk space.
Now read this: which apps are taking up most space on my PC?