How to Use Windows Disk Cleanup Utility on Windows PC

Disk Cleanup is an advanced Windows utility that let you reclaim used hard disk memory by deleting unused temporary and junk files, setup log files from Windows Computer. The main functionality of a disk cleanup tool is it deletes all unnecessary files from a computer and thus it can recover a certain amount of disk space.

Disk cleanup option can be used in older Windows versions like Windows XP, Vista and it can be used in Windows 7, Windows 8 and upcoming Windows 8.1. It is a Windows in-build utility and is available in form of exe file or as a downloadable freeware version. Although this useful functionality can also be used in OS X and Ubuntu also.

What does the Windows Best Disk Cleanup Utility Delete?

A hard disk cleanup software can drop unnecessary and unused files like temporary files, junk files, spaces taken by hibernate option, temporary application data, temporary internet log files etc. Default cleanup disk space option after deleting temporary files defragment hard disk.

Also See: How To Recover Deleted Files From Hard Disk Or Flash Drive

A Quick Way to Cleanup Disk Space using Dis Cleanup Wizard

Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 has a built-in functionality to cleanup disk space without any disk cleanup software. This built-in Windows utility will increase available hard drive storage by deleting unnecessary files.

Disk Cleanup for Windows 7

A Windows 7 user can use Windows disk cleanup wizard to run disk clean up. For this open My Computer and right-click on any existing hard drive partition. Choose Properties and you will find Disk Cleanup option there (screenshot below).

The same method is applicable for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 also. However you can find clean up disk option at the right-click context menu of a drive on Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.

In Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 disk cleanup option can be viewed direct from Search charm. For this ‘Show Administrative Tools’ need to be turned on.

cleanmgr is another Windows Run box dialogue that let you open Disk Cleanup and Drive selection screen to clean a hard disk partition. Press Win+R and type cleanmgr then press OK button to open Disk cleanup for Windows 7.

disk cleanup drive selection

Add Disk Cleanup in Right Click Context Menu of Windows Drive

How-to-geek describes how to add disk cleanup to right-click context menu. Open registry editor and navigate to the following path:


Create a key named as diskcleanup and a sub-key under it and give name as command. Set the command key value as:

cleanmgr.exe /d %1

Now you will find Diskcleanup option at the right-click menu of a Windows drive.
add disk cleanup at right click

Disk Cleanup with Free Windows Utility Software

There are various disk cleanup exe files which can perform Pc disk clean up and clear files like system temporary files, temporary internet files, internet cookies, internet history, recent documents, run lists, paint recent files, recycle bin items, common dialogues, flash players, regedit recent keys, Windows log files etc.

Disk Cleaner – Computer Disk Cleanup tool

Disk Cleaner is a free to download open source disk cleaner tool for Windows Vista, XP, Windows 7, 8 and 8.1. It will easily and quickly delete temporary system and internet files and thus speed up and clean your Windows Pc.

It is easy to use Windows utility, just open Disk Cleaner and select the items you want to clear and press clear button to clear everything you select.
disk cleaner for windows

CCleaner – Automate Disk Cleanup Utility for Windows

CCleaner is one of the best tool to clean up Windows PC. It also helps you to protect your online privacy and cleanup drives and disks to speed up your computer.
CCleaner can perform disk cleanup action automatically. Open CCleaner and navigate to Options -> Monitoring and enable browser and system monitoring feature, set the action to “automatically clean on closing with notification”. CCleaner can delete Windows system and application based temporary files, unused windows registry files.

automate disk cleanup with ccleaner

How to Speed Up Disk Cleanup for Windows 7

You may have noticed that disk cleanup utility of Microsoft Windows takes a long time to scan compressed folders. One can easily fix it with a simple registry workaround.

For Windows XP and Windows 2000: Run ‘regedit’ and navigate to following key:

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\Compress old files

In the right pane delete the default registry value and Press OK.
For Windows 7 Users:
32 Bit Users: navigate to following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\System error memory dump files

Change the “Flags” Decimal Value to 0 (zero) to speed up Windows disk clean up delay.

64 Bit Windows 7 Users: Open registry editor and navigate to following path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\System error memory dump files

Set the ‘Flags’ value to 0 and reboot computer to get effect. This registry workaround will definitely speed up Windows default disk cleanup utility.

Here is a video demographic that will make you understand more about Windows Disk Cleanup wizard and how to Use it.

Hope this article will guide you to clean up any Windows disk either using Microsoft Disk Cleanup utility or using various third-party tools which you find suitable for yourself.

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