Disk Cleanup

How to cleanup disk on Windows Server 2016

When hard disk drive especially to system C drive is running out of space, you can clean up disk to regain free space. If you reclaim plenty of disk space, you can solve this problem without starting from scratch. If you cannot get enough free space in C drive by cleaning up, you can expand C drive by taking free space from other partitions.

This page shows how to clean up disk partition with Windows Server 2016 built-in Disk Cleanup. To do this, you may either run standalone Disk Cleanup utility or via command line.

Disk Cleanup

To clean up disk on Windows Server 2016, Microsoft provides native Disk Cleanup utility, which can be used to delete most types of junk and unnecessary files fast and safely. Better than previous Server 2012, Disk Cleanup is installed and activated by default in Windows Server 2016, so you can use it to free up disk space easily.

To run Windows Server 2016 Disk Cleanup tool, there are two common ways: from File Explorer or command line.

Option 1 Run standalone Disk Cleanup utility

Click on task bar or press Windows and E on keyboard to open File Explorer, right click C drive and select Properties.


Click Disk Cleanup in the pop-up window.

Disk Cleanup

Disk Cleanup will scan the files that can be removed safely.


Click the check-box in front of the files that you want to delete. Click each type of files and you’ll see the description.

Select files

Click Delete Files in the pop-up window to confirm this operation, done.


Option 2 Run Disk Cleanup from command line

Press Windows and R key on keyboard to open Run dialog, type the command:

cleanmgr.exe /?

You’ll see all switches available for Disk Cleanup:

Disk Cleanup cmd

The list include:

  • /SAGESET:n
  • /SAGERUN:n
  • /TUNEUP:n
  • /SETUP

Command line list:

cleanmgr.exe /d c

Explanation: Run disk cleanup on drive C, C is drive letter without “:”.

cleanmgr.exe /lowdisk /d c

The switch /LOWDISK is used when a disk drive is running low in disk space. When launched, Disk Cleanup opens with all checkboxes checked by default.

Select files

cleanmgr.exe /verylowdisk /d c

It is the same as the /LOWDISK disk switch, but it will cleanup all files automatically. It won’t show you a confirmation, but will show you a dialog to indicate how much free disk space you have now.

For other command line, refer to the guide

Expand partition if clean up little space

Server 2016 Disk Cleanup is very useful to the computers that never or have not free up space for a long time, but in most cases it cannot help you reclaim large amount of free space. You’d better expand C drive to larger size. With safe partition software such as NIUBI Partition Editor, you can move free unused space from other drives in the same disk and add into C drive without losing data, everything keeps the same after resizing disk partition.

Download NIUBI and follow the steps in the video: