This guide shows how to use the Disk Cleanup tool for the following Windows versions: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10.

The Disk Cleanup tool, part of Windows, will perform a search on the hard disk for files that can be deleted from your computer without affecting its functionality or your personal files:

Run Disk Cleanup in Windows XP

To run Disk Cleanup on a Windows XP computer, you can run it from My Computer or from Command Prompt.

Run from My Computer

Method #1

  1. Click Start
  2. Click Run
  3. Type cleanmgr
  4. Click OK or press Enter

Method #2

  1. Click Start
  2. Go to All Programs
  3. Go to Accessories
  4. Go to System Tools
  5. Click Disk Cleanup

Method #3

  1. Open My Computer
  2. Right­-click on the drive you want to run Disk Cleanup. This is usually C:\, the drive where
    Windows XP is installed.
  3. Click Properties
  4. Go to the General tab
  5. Click Disk Cleanup

Run from Command Prompt

To open Disk Cleanup via Command Prompt, follow these steps:

  1. Open Command Prompt
  2. Type this command:
    c:\windows\cleanmgr.exe /d

    where c:\ is where Windows XP is installed.

  3. Press Enter
Windows XP Disk Cleanup screen

Windows XP Disk Cleanup screen

Run Disk Cleanup in Windows Vista and 7

Run from My Computer

To open Disk Cleanup on a Windows Vista or Windows 7 computer, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start
  2. Go to All Programs > Accessories > System Tools
  3. Click Disk Cleanup
  4. Choose what type of files and folders to delete at the Files to delete section
  5. Click OK
  6. To delete system files that are no longer needed, click Clean up system files. You may be
    prompted by UAC (User Account Control) to confirm the action.
  7. Click Delete Files

To free more space, go to the More options tab:

  • Click Clean up at the Programs and Features section to remove program files that are no longer needed
  • Click Clean up at the System Restore and Shadow Copies section to remove restore points, except the last one

Run from Command Prompt

To open Disk Cleanup via Command Prompt (command line) on a Windows Vista or Windows 7:

  1. Open Command Prompt
  2. Type cleanmgr
  3. Press Enter
Windows 7 Disk Cleanup screen

Windows 7 Disk Cleanup screen

Run Disk Cleanup in Windows 8 or 8.1

Run from My Computer

To open Disk Cleanup on a Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 system, follow these instructions:

  1. Click Settings > Click Control Panel > Administrative Tools
  2. Click Disk Cleanup
  3. At the Drives list, select which drive you want to run Disk Cleanup on
  4. Select which files you want to delete
  5. Click OK
  6. Click Delete files

To delete system files that are no longer needed on your computer, click Clean up system files.

Shadow copies and restore points (except the last ones) can be deleted by going to the More options tab > Click Cleanup.

Windows 8 Disk Cleanup screen

Windows 8 Disk Cleanup screen

Run Disk Cleanup in Windows 10

Run from My Computer

To open Disk Cleanup on a Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 system, follow these instructions:

  1. Type Disk Cleanup in the Search Bar
  2. Press Enter
  3. At the Drives list, select which drive you want to run Disk Cleanup on
  4. Select which files you want to delete
  5. Click OK
  6. Click Delete files

To delete system files that are no longer needed on your computer, click Clean up system files.

Shadow copies and restore points (except the last ones) can be deleted by going to the More options tab > Click Cleanup.

Windows 10 Disk Cleanup screen

Windows 10 Disk Cleanup screen

Troubleshooting

Disk Cleanup is stuck

If Disk Cleanup is getting stuck at a certain deletion process (deletion of temporary files or deletion of Windows updates), try any of the following tips:

  • Run Disk Cleanup as an Administrator
  • Delete the files and folders manually, but be logged in as an Administrator.If Disk Cleanup is getting stuck at deleting Internet Explorer temporary files, delete the temporary files manually. Be logged in as Administrator or as any user with administrative rights to the system when doing so.
  • Run a sfc /scannow command. To do so, follow these steps:
    1. Open Command Prompt
    2. Type sfc /scannow /offbootdir=D:\ /offwindir=D:\Windows\, where D:\ is your Windows drive letter, and D:\Windows is your Windows installation path
    3. Press Enter
Sfc utility results screen

Sfc utility results screen

More Information

Linked Entries

Support Links

Applicable Systems

This Windows-related knowledgebase article applies to the following operating systems:

  • Windows XP (all editions)
  • Windows Vista (all editions)
  • Windows 7 (all editions)
  • Windows 8 (all editions)
  • Windows 8.1 (all editions)
  • Windows 10 (all editions)

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