How to delete temporary files and free up more space on Windows 11 and Windows 10

When you want to free up more space on Windows 11, what’s the first thing you do? We’ve given you some options on how to use Windows 10’s built-in tools to free up more space.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to free up even more space using Disk Cleanup in Windows 11, and by the way, you can also use the same instructions in Windows 10.

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Use Disk Cleanup to free up more space on Windows 11

Using Disk Cleanup allows you to delete temporary files and free up more space on Windows by also allowing you to delete system files. Here’s what you need to do.

Delete temporary files

1. Type “disk cleanup” in the search box on the taskbar or in the Start menu and click Open below Disk cleaning.


2. Select the drive you want to free up space from the drop-down menu and click OKAY.
How to Delete Temporary Files and Free Up More Space on Windows 11 and Windows 10 - OnMSFT.com - September 7, 2022
3. After Disk Cleanup has scanned the drive you want to clean, it will provide a list of file types that you can choose to remove from your PC. Click on the checkboxes below Files to delete next to the file types you want to delete.

Here is a list of each file type and what it does.

  • Downloaded program files: These are ActiveX controls and Java applets that are automatically downloaded from the Internet when you visit certain web pages.
  • Temporary internet files: Contains web pages stored on your hard drive for quick viewing. Your custom settings for web pages will remain intact.
  • DirectX shader cache: This is where your PC stores files created by the graphics card system, which can speed up application load times and improve responsiveness. These files can be easily recovered if needed.
  • Delivery optimization files: These files are used to download updates from Microsoft. These files are stored in a dedicated cache to be downloaded to other devices on your local network. You can safely delete these files if you need space.
  • Basket: These are files that you have already deleted from your PC, but they will not be permanently deleted until you empty your Recycle Bin.
  • Temporary files: Programs can store temporary information in specific folders. These files can be cleaned manually if the program does not do it automatically.
  • Thumbnails: Windows saves a copy of all your photos, videos, and document thumbnails for quick viewing when you open a folder. If you delete these files, they can be easily recreated as needed.

4. Click OKAY to remove these types of files from your PC.
How to Delete Temporary Files and Free Up More Space on Windows 11 and Windows 10 - OnMSFT.com - September 7, 2022

5. Disk Cleanup will ask you to confirm that you are sure you want to delete these files permanently. click on Delete files if you want to continue.
How to Delete Temporary Files and Free Up More Space on Windows 11 and Windows 10 - OnMSFT.com - September 7, 2022
Disk Cleanup will now delete your files. You may see a pop-up telling you the status of the file types you’ve chosen to delete, stating that “Disk Cleanup is cleaning up unnecessary files on your machine”.
How to Delete Temporary Files and Free Up More Space on Windows 11 and Windows 10 - OnMSFT.com - September 7, 2022

Depending on the speed of your PC and the size of the files you choose to delete, it may take more or less time. After Disk Cleanup is complete, you may notice a slight increase in your PC’s speed and responsiveness.

Delete system files

If you want to free up even more space on Windows, you can also choose to Clean up system files. Here’s what you need to do.

1. I Disk cleaningunder File to delete click on Clean up system files button.

How to Delete Temporary Files and Free Up More Space on Windows 11 and Windows 10 - OnMSFT.com - September 7, 2022

2. Select the drive where you want to clean up system files and click OKAY

How to Delete Temporary Files and Free Up More Space on Windows 11 and Windows 10 - OnMSFT.com - September 7, 2022

Once you have clicked OKAYDisk Cleanup will clean up your system files to free up more space on Windows.

How to Delete Temporary Files and Free Up More Space on Windows 11 and Windows 10 - OnMSFT.com - September 7, 2022

When you’re done, you’ll see the same file types as when you deleted temporary files in Disk Cleanup, plus three new Windows-specific file type options:

  • Microsoft Defender Antivirus: These are non-critical files used by Microsoft Defender Antivirus. You can delete these files to free up space.
  • Device Driver Packages: Windows keeps copies of all previously installed device driver packages from Windows Update and other sources, even after installing newer versions of the drivers. Deleting these files will remove older versions of drivers that are no longer needed. The latest version of each driver package will be maintained.
  • Language resource files: These files are unused language resource files for keyboards, voice input, etc.

How to Delete Temporary Files and Free Up More Space on Windows 11 and Windows 10 - OnMSFT.com - September 7, 2022

3. Select the check boxes for the file types you want to delete and click OKAY.

How to Delete Temporary Files and Free Up More Space on Windows 11 and Windows 10 - OnMSFT.com - September 7, 2022

4. Click Delete files to confirm that you want to permanently delete the system files you have selected.

Now Disk Cleanup will delete the system files you have selected. You should now have more space on Windows 11 and Windows 10 than before.

How do you free up more space on your PC? Tell us in the comments!

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