Top 5 Ways to Clean Junk Files on Windows 11 PC

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Your Windows computer may become slow over time due to the accumulation of unwanted files. These may be temporary files created by apps, unwanted internet files, software leftovers, update logs, cache, and more. Clutter not only takes up storage space on the device but also makes it feel sluggish and sluggish. Fortunately, Windows 11 packs many built-in options to free up storage space by deleting these junk files. In this article, let’s take a look at some useful ways to clean junk files on your Windows 11 PC.

Related | How to quickly reset Windows 11 without losing files

What are junk files in Windows? Why clean them?

Junk files are temporary files created by your computer while you are using various programs and doing different tasks. These files are required for a short time to speed up the process and become irrelevant over time.

Since these files take up storage space on your drive, they can build up and slow down your computer, especially if it’s a low-cost one. Hence, cleaning up junk files on your computer regularly is a safe and good practice.

Some common types of unwanted files on your computer:

  • temporary files: These are temporary files created by the system or applications while they are in use. They are deleted automatically but not always, in which case, you can remove them manually.
  • Temporary Internet Files: It is the browser cache, i.e. files created by your browser to speed up the loading of websites you have already visited.
  • Minimized picture: Image thumbnails help load previews of images and videos to your computer. When deleted, it may take a little longer for the photos to load. Windows will automatically recreate it when needed.
  • Software leftovers: Temporary files and materials related to applications and programs that you have already uninstalled.
  • Windows upgrade log files: Windows creates many log files during updates. These files are necessary for troubleshooting issues that may arise after an upgrade.
  • Recycle bin files: Files that have been deleted but remain stored in the Recycle Bin. It helps to recover accidentally deleted files.

Clean junk files on your Windows 11 PC

Method 1 – Clean junk files using cleaning recommendations

Windows 11 comes with a new feature called Cleanup Recommendations. It gives us recommendations to free up disk space by cleaning temporary and large files, files synced to the cloud, and unused applications. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Open Settings On your Windows 11 PC. You can do this either from the Start menu or by pressing win + me on your keyboard.
  2. Choose System From the sidebar on the left. Click storage.
  3. Here, click Cleaning Recommendations.Cleaning recommendations on Windows 11
  4. It will now scan and show you temporary files and large or unused files that you can clean to free up storage space on your device.Cleaning recommendations on Windows 11
  5. Select the files you want to remove and click sweep up At the bottom.
  6. Moreover, check the files that are synced to the cloud and unused apps on the PC and delete them.

Method 2 – Enable Auto Cleanup and Storage Sense on Windows 11

Storage Sense is a modern cleaning tool that was first introduced on Windows 10. You can enable Storage Sense on Windows 11 to ensure automatic cleaning of temporary system and application files whenever needed.

  1. Open Settings On your Windows 11 PC.
  2. Choose System From the sidebar on the left. Click storage.
  3. Now, press Storage Sense.Enable Automatic Cleanup and Storage Sense on Windows 11
  4. Check the box for Keep Windows running smoothly by automatically cleaning system files and temporary apps.
  5. Next, turn on the switch for Storage Sense Within the automatic cleaning of user content.Enable Automatic Cleanup and Storage Sense on Windows 11
  6. Configure the cleaning schedule to turn on Storage Sense and delete files from the Recycle Bin and Downloads. Keep the latter set to Never if you don’t want Windows to automatically delete downloaded files.
  7. You can also click Turn on storage sensor now To free up disk space.

Method 3 – Run Windows Disk Cleanup Tool

All versions of Windows have a built-in disk cleanup tool that helps delete temporary and other unwanted files. This includes internet files, setup log files, delivery optimization files, cache and more that take up a large portion of your storage. To use:

  1. open the start menu On your Windows 11 PC, search for Disk Cleanup.
  2. Click on Disk Cleanup Application from search results.Disk Cleanup on Windows 11
  3. Select the drive you want to clean from the drop-down list and click Yes.
  4. Disk Cleanup will now show you which files can be removed.
  5. Select the files you want to delete. then press Yes.Disk Cleanup on Windows 11
  6. Finally, tap delete files moving forward.Delete Unwanted Files Using Disk Cleanup Utility in Windows 11
  7. Further, click Clean system files.
  8. Then select the drive again.
  9. Check any files and delete them if necessary.

Method 4 – Clean Temporary Files

Programs installed on your computer create temporary files every time you use them to perform a task. Usually, these files are deleted automatically. However, some may remain on your file system to consume unnecessary storage space.

To clean temporary files on Windows 11, follow one of the three methods given below:

1. Delete temporary files in Windows 11 settings

The cleaning recommendations, which are indicated in the first method, allow you to clean temporary files on the computer, as described below:

Delete temporary files on Windows 11

  1. Open Settings On your Windows 11 PC. You can do this either from the Start menu or by pressing win + me on your keyboard.
  2. Choose System From the sidebar on the left. Click storage.
  3. Here, click Cleaning Recommendations.
  4. Click temporary files to expand it.
  5. Select the files you want to delete and press sweep up At the bottom.

2. Delete temporary files using File Explorer

You can also view and delete temporary files directly from File Explorer using the steps below.

  1. Start playing by pressing Win + R..
  2. Once the window opens, type and enter %temporary%.Delete temporary files with File Explorer in Windows 11
  3. It will take you to the folder containing all the temporary files on your Windows device.
  4. Journalism CTRL + A to select all files. then press delete.Delete temporary files with File Explorer in Windows 11
  5. Confirm the prompt if you are asked to grant admin permission.

3. Delete temporary files using Command Prompt

Finally, Command Prompt provides an easy way to remove temporary clutter. Here is how you can use it:

  1. Open the start menu and search for poultice.Delete temporary files using Command Prompt
  2. Right click Command Prompt and choose Run as administrator.
  3. Click Yes When prompted to grant permission.
  4. In the Command Prompt window, type del / q / f / s %TEMP% * and press Enters.Delete temporary files using Command Prompt
  5. That’s it; It will now delete temporary files on your Windows 11 PC.

Method 5 – Third-party Windows cleaning tools like CCleaner

Many third-party tools allow to clean temporary junk files, software leftovers, and other unwanted files from their Windows devices. CCleaner is one of the popular software that helps you tune and optimize your PC.

CCleaner Windows 11

All you have to do is install the free version of CCleaner, perform a scan, and delete the junk files. The free version should suffice for most users. However, for in-depth cleaning, you can try the free trial of the professional version.

You can also use other alternatives like Wise Disk CleanerAnd IObit Advanced SystemCareAnd AVG PC TuneUp, and more.

Other tips to clean up space on Windows 11

  • Empty the trash: Right-click on the Recycle Bin icon and click Empty the Recycle Bin.
  • Delete old Windows backups: Open File Explorer and head to the drive where the operating system is installed. Find the “Windows.old” folder and delete it to remove your old Windows backups.
  • Uninstall unused apps: go to the Settings > apps > Applications and Features and Remove apps you don’t need.
  • Clear browser data and cache: Follow the steps in our guide to clear the cache on a Windows PC.

Related | 7 ways to make Windows 11 faster and improve performance

wrapping

These were some quick and easy ways to clean junk files on Windows 11. I hope this helps you to delete unwanted cache and temporary files from your computer easily. The built-in cleaning recommendations and Storage Sense will suffice for most users, but those who want to save every little space can move on to other methods. Feel free to reach out with any doubts or inquiries.

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