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Top 5 Ways to Clean Up Junk Files on Windows 11 Computer


Your Windows computer may become slow over time due to the accumulation of unwanted files. These can be temporary files created by applications, unwanted Internet files, leftover software, update logs, cache memory, and more. The clutter not only eats up the storage space on the device, but also makes it slow and sluggish. Fortunately, Windows 11 has several built-in options to free up storage space by deleting these unwanted files. In this article, let’s take a look at some handy ways to clean up unwanted files on your Windows 11 PC.

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What are junk files in Windows? Why clean them?

Junk files are temporary files created by a PC while using different programs and performing different tasks. These files are needed for a short period of time to speed up the process and become irrelevant over time.

Because these files take up disk space, they can accumulate and slow down your computer, especially if it’s a cheap machine. Therefore, it is safe and good practice to regularly clean up unwanted files on your computer.

Some common types of junk files on your computer:

  • Temporary files: These are temporary files created by the system or applications while you are using them. They are deleted automatically, but not always, in which case you can remove them manually.
  • Temporary internet files: It is a browser cache, ie. files created by your browser to speed up the loading of websites you have already visited.
  • thumbnails: Image thumbnails help upload images and videos to your computer. When you delete them, it may take a little longer for the images to load. Windows will automatically recreate them when needed.
  • Software leftovers: Temporary files and material related to applications and programs that you have already uninstalled.
  • Windows upgrade logs: Windows creates several log files during the update. These files are necessary to resolve issues that may arise after the upgrade.
  • Waste bin files: Files that are deleted but remain stored in the Recycle Bin. Helps to recover accidentally deleted files.

Clean up unwanted files on your Windows 11 computer

Method 1 – Clean up unwanted files using the Cleaning Recommendations

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

  1. Open up Settings on your Windows 11 computer. You can do this either from the Start menu or by pressing Victory + I on your keyboard.
  2. Select System from the sidebar on the left. Click on Storage.
  3. Here, click on Cleaning recommendations.Cleaning recommendations for 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 on your device.Cleaning recommendations for Windows 11
  5. Select the files you want to remove and tap Clean up at the bottom.
  6. Furthermore, check and delete files synchronized with the cloud and unused applications on your computer.

Method 2 – Enable automatic cleaning and data storage on Windows 11

Storage Sense is a modern cleaning utility 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 up Settings on your Windows 11 computer.
  2. Select System from the sidebar on the left. Click on Storage.
  3. Now tap Storage Sense.Enable automatic cleaning and data storage on Windows 11
  4. Check the box for Keep Windows running smoothly by automatically cleaning temporary system and applications.
  5. Then turn on the power switch Storage Sense under Automatic cleaning of user content.Enable automatic cleaning and data storage on Windows 11
  6. Configure a cleanup schedule to run the sense to store and delete files from the Recycle Bin and downloads. Keep the latter to “Never” if you don’t want Windows to automatically delete downloaded files.
  7. You can also touch Start Storage Sense now to free up disk space.

Method 3 – Start the 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 significant portion of the repository. To use:

  1. Open up Start menu on your Windows 11 computer and look for “Disk Cleanup”.
  2. Click on Disk cleaning application from search results.Disk Cleanup on Windows 11
  3. Select the disc you want to clear from the drop-down menu and tap office.
  4. Disk Cleanup will now show you the files you can remove.
  5. Select the files you want to delete. Then click office.Disk Cleanup on Windows 11
  6. Finally, click on Delete files to continue.Delete unwanted files using Disk Cleanup on Windows 11
  7. Next, click Clean the system files.
  8. Then select the drive again.
  9. Check and delete all files if necessary.

Method 4 – Clean up temporary files

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

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

1. Delete temporary files in Windows 11 settings

Observed in the first method, Cleaning Recommendations allow you to clean temporary files on your computer, as shown below:

Delete temporary files on Windows 11

  1. Open up Settings on your Windows 11 computer. You can do this either from the Start menu or by pressing Victory + I on your keyboard.
  2. Select System from the sidebar on the left. Click on Storage.
  3. Here, click on Cleaning recommendations.
  4. Click on Temporary files to expand it.
  5. Select the files you want to delete and press Clean up at the bottom.

2. Delete temporary files using File Explorer

You can also view and delete temporary files directly from the file explorer using the steps below.

  1. Start Run by pressing Win + R.
  2. When the window opens, type and enter % temp%.Delete temporary files using File Explorer in Windows 11
  3. It will take you to a folder that contains all the temporary files on your Windows computer.
  4. Press CTRL + A to select all files. Then hit Delete.Delete temporary files using File Explorer in Windows 11
  5. Confirm the query if you are asked to grant administrator permission.

3. Delete the temporary files using the command line

Finally, the command line offers a convenient way to clear the temporary clutter. Below is how you can use it:

  1. Open the Start menu and search cmd.Delete temporary files using the command line
  2. Right click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.
  3. Click on Yes when you are asked to grant permission.
  4. In the Command Prompt window, type del / q / f / s% TEMP% * and press Enter.Delete temporary files using the command line
  5. That’s it; will now delete the temporary files on your Windows 11 PC.

Method 5 – Third-party Windows cleaning tools such as CCleaner

Several third-party tools allow you to clean up temporary junk files, leftover software, and other junk files from their Windows machines. CCleaner is one such popular software that helps you fine-tune and optimize your PC.

CCleaner Windows 11

All you have to do is install the free version of CCleaner, run a scan and delete the unwanted files. The free version should be enough for most users. However, for deep cleaning, you can try a free trial version of the professional version.

You can use other alternatives such as Wise Disk Cleaner,, IObit Advanced SystemCare,, AVG PC TuneUp, and more.

Other space cleaning tips on Windows 11

  • Empty the waste bin: Right-click the trash can icon and tap Empty the trash can.
  • Delete old Windows backups: Open File Explorer and go to the disk where the OS is installed. Find the “Windows.old” folder and delete it to remove backups from the old Windows.
  • Uninstall unused applications: Go Settings > Apps > Applications and features aand remove applications you don’t need.
  • Clear browser data and cache: Follow the steps in our guide to clear the cache on your Windows PC.

Related 7 ways to make Windows 11 faster and improve performance

Wrapping Up

These were some quick and easy methods to clean up unwanted files on Windows 11. I hope this will help you easily delete unwanted cache and temporary files from your computer. Built-in cleaning recommendations and Storage Sense would suffice for most users, but those who want to save every bit of space can switch to other methods. Feel free to contact us for any concerns or inquiries.

You can also follow us for current technology news on Google News or for tips and tricks, reviews of smartphones and gadgets, join GadgetsToUse Telegram Group or subscribe to the latest videos GadgetsToUse Youtube channel.



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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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