The Disk Cleanup utility, included with Windows, is a useful application to run frequently, as it removes temporary Internet files, empties the Recycle Bin, removes dump files generated when an error occurs, removes backup files generated when Windows installs a Service Pack, and miscellaneous other temporary files that Windows doesn’t go into detail about.
Disk Cleanup works the exact same way in Windows 8 as in previous versions, but finding it is a little trickier.
To run Disk Cleanup:
Though only a few items are checked by default, feel free to check more of them. Please note, however, that once the files are deleted, they’re gone forever. The good news is that there’s almost no situation where you’ll need any of these temporary files. Here’s one exception to take note of: If you’re on the phone with Microsoft Support immediately following an error, they may need to see the error log files. If you’re at all concerned about that, leave that option unchecked.
This cleanup process will take several minutes, and then you’ll be able to take advantage of the free space immediately.
More precious space on your hard drive is always better. Windows uses free space on your drive as temporary RAM, called virtual memory. Plus, you want space on the drive for more important things, like new applications, videos, photos and music. You can gain back gigabytes of space using Disk Cleanup. Try it out.
Steve Horton has been working with computers for over 20 years. He's dedicated to helping people get the most out of their PCs, and likes playing cards and writing comics.
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