What is Disk Cleanup

Disk Cleanup is a Microsoft program that comes with Windows. It is designed to free-up disk space on a computer’s hard drive. The program works in two parts:

  1. Analyse and identify files on the hard drive that can be safely removed
  2. Delete these files to free-up disk space

An additional, System File Disk Cleanup also checks operating system files that can be removed, including update installation files, upgrade files and error logs. System File Disk Cleanup frees significantly more space than a simple Disk Cleanup.


How to Disk Cleanup System Files

This guide is based on Microsoft Windows 10, however similar steps apply to Windows 7 with Service Pack 1, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.

  1. Click Start button
    Click Start button

    Click Windows Start button to bring-up Start Menu


  2. Type cleanmrg
    Type "cleanmgr" without quotes

    Type cleanmgr in the search field. “Cleanmgr.exe” is the filename of disk cleaup utility.


  3. Right-click on Disk Clean-up top result and left-click on Run as administrator option
    Right-click on Disk Cleanup option & select Run as Administrator

    Right-click on top result Disk Clean-up and choose first option Run as administrator.


  4. If prompted, agree (click Yes) to User Access Control question to run Disk Cleanup with elevated Administrator permission
    Click Yes in UAC window

    If prompted, click Yes to allow elevated access in order to clean-up system files that are normally locked.


  5. Wait for Disk Cleanup to identify files that can be removed
    Wait for the scan

    Wait while Disk Clean-up scans the system to identify no longer needed files


  6. Select all files to delete by checking all boxes
    Select all files

    Check all boxes to select all files to delete. Estimated free space gained is displayed.


  7. Click OK to confirm selection, then confirm to delete files permanently by clicking on Delete Files
    Click Delete Files

    Click Delete Files to confirm removal of selected files


  8. Wait for files to be removed. This may take a while.
    Wait to complete

    Waif to cleanup to complete. Once done, the window will disappear.


  9. Restart the PC as normal. Wait if Configuring Updates or Cleaning Up screens appears.

If you need any further help with freeing disk space on your system or if your disk space is still low after running System File Disk Clean-up, please contact us and we will be able to help.

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