Streamline Windows 10/11 By Deleting Unnecessary Files

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Keeping your Windows PC optimized involves regularly deleting unnecessary files. This includes clearing out old downloads, temporary files, and uninstalling apps you don’t use. Techniques range from automated tools like Storage Sense to manual cleanup methods, all aimed at freeing up disk space and boosting your computer’s performance.

1. Using Storage Sense

Storage Sense is a feature in Windows that automatically frees up space by deleting unnecessary files, including temporary files and content from the recycle bin.

  1. Navigate to:
    • Start > Settings > System > Storage
  2. Turn on Storage Sense.
    • You can configure it to run automatically or run it manually.

2. Manual File Deletion

Windows provides recommendations for cleaning up files that are no longer needed.

  1. Access cleanup recommendations:
    • Start > Settings > System > Storage > Cleanup recommendations
  2. Select files to delete.
    • Options include temporary files, downloads, large or unused files, and previously installed Windows versions.
  3. Click on the ‘Clean up’ button to remove selected files.

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3. Moving Files to Another Drive

Transferring files to an external drive or other locations can help free up space on your main drive.

  1. Connect an external storage device, like a USB drive or external hard disk.
  2. Use File Explorer to locate the files you want to move:
    • Open File Explorer from the taskbar.
    • Navigate to the files or folders you wish to move.
  3. Move the files:
    • Select the files, then choose ‘Cut’ from the right-click menu or ribbon.
    • Navigate to the external storage location and select ‘Paste’.

4. Configuring Storage Sense for Specific Files

Storage Sense can be customized to delete specific types of files at intervals you choose.

  1. Open Storage settings:
    • Select Start > Settings > System > Storage
  2. Select ‘Configure Storage Sense or run it now’.
    • Under ‘Temporary Files’, choose when to delete temporary files, downloads, and files in the recycle bin.
    • Optionally, set Storage Sense to delete files in your Downloads folder and empty the Recycle Bin automatically.

5. Uninstalling Unused Apps

Uninstalling apps that you no longer use can significantly free up space on your device.

  1. To find and uninstall apps:
    • Open Start > Settings > Apps > Apps & features
  2. Locate the app you want to uninstall.
    • Search for a specific app or sort apps by size to identify large ones.
  3. Select the app, and then click ‘Uninstall’.

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