Keep Your Hard Tidy with the Disk Cleanup Tool

Over time, your PC will become cluttered with unused programs, temporary files, and deleted items stored in the Recycle Bin. Regardless of their location on your system, all of these files are capable of using up large tracts of your system’s disk space, something which can be detrimental from both a performance and available storage point of view. Quite simply, the more unnecessary files stored on your system, the less valuable disk space you have at your disposal. Disk Cleanup is the native Windows tool provided for the purpose of quickly finding and ridding your PC of unnecessary files, and you’ll want to run it at least monthly as part of your scheduled system maintenance activities.

Disk Cleanup is accessible via the Accessories > System Tools group on the Start menu. When this utility is opened, it will ask you to choose a drive to scan, and then calculate the amount of disk space that is being used by everything from Temporary Internet Files to the contents of your Recycle Bin. By simply checking the checkbox next to the appropriate item, Windows will permanently delete the selected files, allowing you to reclaim the associated disk space. Again, run Disk Cleanup at least once per month on your system, and more often if your usage is extremely high.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.