TIP: Use Disk Cleanup to Clear Up Disk Space on Your Laptop

If you use a laptop for work or at home, you have probably done the disk space dance… You know, it’s the dance you do when when Windows tells you you’re running low on hard drive space. The solid-state drives installed in many newer laptops are fast, but tend to be smaller than their slower, traditional counterparts. And even if you have a larger mechanical hard drive, you may find yourself in the same position–searching for anything you can delete to get more space.

Your internet cache, Recycle Bin, dump files and temporary system files may be claiming a big chunk of your disk space. Lucky for you, Windows has a built-in Disk Cleanup utility that will safely remove these files with ease.

Simply type Disk Cleanup in the Start Menu and open the Disk Cleanup program. It may take a few minutes to load, and once it does, you’ll see a list of potential areas of wasted disk space. Check off the items you wish to delete and click OK to let Disk Cleanup work its magic.

Run Disk Cleanup Automatically

If you’d like to set up Disk Cleanup to automatically run on a schedule (weekly, for example), then follow this 5-minute process that will save you a bunch of time and disk space in the future.

1. Choose the settings you’d like Disk Cleanup to use automatically.

You’ll first need to choose what settings Disk Cleanup will use. You can do this via the Command Prompt. Use the Start Menu to open the Command Prompt. At the prompt, type:

cleanmgr.exe /sageset:1

A Disk Cleanup window will appear. Choose the types of files you’d like to erase automatically and click OK. This creates a set of options that Windows will now use when it automatically runs Disk Cleanup. To change these settings in the future, simply repeat this first step.

2. Use Task Scheduler to schedule Disk Cleanup to run regularly.

Use the Start Menu to load up Task Scheduler. Inside Task Scheduler, click Create Basic Task… and follow the “Create Basic Task Wizard” as it walks you through the process.

In the first step, give your new task a name and description (e.g., Disk Cleanup; Run Disk Cleanup Weekly).

In the second step, choose how often you’d like this task to run. For this example, we chose “Weekly” and then chose to have it recur every Sunday.

For the action step, select Start a program and then enter cleanmgr.exe in the “Program/script” field and /sagerun:1 in the “Add arguments” field. Click Next to continue.

On the final step, verify that your task settings match the settings above. Click Finish, close Task Scheduler, and you won’t have to think about cleaning up temporary files again!

If you’re still experiencing low disk space after running Disk Cleanup, you probably need more specific instruction on what should be cleaned up and what should stay. Minneapolis-based OAC Technology can review your computer and provide personalized recommendations that fit your needs. With our Desktop and Laptop Support, we can help clear up disk space, remove viruses and malware and optimize the settings of your computer to ensure your computer runs better than the day you bought it.

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