Another Way to Make Your Computer Faster Again – Disk Cleanup

Windows has some decent tools to help you take care of your computer. The best part is that they are free and already on your computer. Last week we talked about the Disk Defragmenter utility. This week we’ll look at the Disk Cleanup tool.

The Disk Cleanup tool scans your hard drive for files that can be deleted safely. Your pictures and documents are safe. Most of the files it deletes are log type files.

disk cleanup

CLEAN AND TIDY: Use the Disc Cleanup tool to safely
delete unnecessary files.

Think of a log file being like your phone bill. Your phone bill shows you every long distance call you made and all the details. Windows logs act in a similar way to help it keep track of things and to help technicians troubleshoot issues.

Think back to your phone bill again. Each bill you get is small. But imagine if you had every phone bill you’ve ever had in one filing cabinet with other papers. They would take up a lot of space in your filing cabinet. If you were to sort your filing cabinet, they’d slow you down. We don’t keep every phone bill though, do we? We get rid of ones that we don’t need.

Windows doesn’t always get rid of the old logs, though. That’s what the Disk Cleanup tool is for. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Click on your Start
  2. Type the words disk cleanup in the Search
    In Windows 7 and older, you’ll get the result of Disk Cleanup. Double-click on that.
    In Windows 8 and newer you’ll see a result that reads, Free up disk space by deleting unnecessary files. Double-click on that.
  3. A progress window will open and show that it is calculating how much space you can clean out. This can take several minutes.
  4. A window will open with several choices. If you aren’t sure which ones to choose, just leave the default boxes checked.
  5. Next, click on the Ok The Disk Cleanup utility will start deleting those unnecessary files.

This can take a while. If your computer is already slow, you may want to walk away from it for a half-hour or more.   When the Disk Cleanup is done, it will automatically close. Depending on how many files it deleted, your computer may speed up just a little or a lot. Happy computing!

First Published: The Guysborough Journal, Vol . 21, No. 46, November 18, 2015

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