How to clean up disk on Windows 10

Updated on: May 17, 2019

This article introduces how to clear up disk with Windows 10 Disk Cleanup utility, detailed steps to free up disk and reclaim free space.

Most of Windows 10 users have the experience that C drive is running out of space. Windows Updates, system log and temp files, programs and many other types of files write into C drive continuously, so C drive becomes full sooner or later. In this situation, you may free up disk space with Windows 10 Disk Cleanup utility, then you can reclaim disk space and continue using this computer.

About Windows 10 Disk Cleanup

Disk Cleanup is a Microsoft Windows computer native included maintenance utility that is used to free up disk space on hard disk drives. The utility is easy and fast, it searches and analyzes the hard drive for files that are no longer of any use, and then removes the unnecessary files safely. Windows Disk Cleanup can delete many types of files such as: Windows Updates, Temporary files, Logs, Cache and files in Recycle Bin.

You can run Disk Cleanup in all Windows versions from XP, however, in some Windows version such as Server 2008 and 2012, Disk Cleanup is not enabled by default, so you need to manually install it.

Starting with Windows 10 version 1803, Disk Cleanup are incorporated into Windows 10's Settings app, however, the standalone Disk Cleanup utility is still workable.

How to start Disk Cleanup utility

There are 4 ways to open/start Disk Cleanup utility in Windows 10:

Option 1: Press Windows and R key on keyboard, type cleanmgr, and then click OK.


Select C: drive or other one that you want to cleanup.

Select drive

Option 2: Open Windows File Explorer, right click C: drive and select Properties.

Windows Explorer

Click Disk Cleanup in the pop-up window.

Disk cleanup

Option 3: Search from task bar at bottom left. Type clean then Disk Cleanup is shown on the top.

Search by clean

Option 4: from command line

  1. Type cmd to search, when Command Prompt is shown, right click it and select Run as administrator.
  2. In the command prompt window, type: cmd.exe /c Cleanmgr /sageset:65535 & Cleanmgr /sagerun:65535
  3. Select the files and click OK.

Elevated command

How to free up space with Disk Cleanup

When the Disk Cleanup window is opened, it is very easy to complete the next steps.

1. Click the check-box to select the types of files that you want to cleanup and click OK to begin. If you are not sure what is the meaning of the files, click it and you'll see the description.

Disk cleanup

2. Confirm this operation by clicking Delete Files.

Confirm deleting

After that, Disk Cleanup will begin deleting the unnecessary and junk files.


3. Repeat to Clean up system files.

Generally speaking, you'll get several GBs free space if you have not clean up disk before. If you want to get more free space, you may follow the steps below.

Additional steps after cleaning up disk

1. Move installed apps and games

When installing programs, many people use default settings to C: drive. The more you installed, the less space left. It's better to install programs to separated partition. Better than previous versions, Windows 10 can move these programs to other partition without reinstalling.

Follow the steps:

  1. Press Windows and X on keyboard, then click Settings > Apps > Apps & features
  2. Click an app or game.
  3. Click the Move bottom.
  4. Select the new location from the drop-down list.
  5. Click the Move button.
  6. Repeat the steps to move more items.

Move Apps

2. Save files to new location

Windows 10 has another new option to save new files of apps, documents, music, pictures, and videos to other place, steps:

  1. Press Windows and X on keyboard, then click Settings
  2. Click SystemStorage.
  3. Click Change where new content is saved under More storage settings.
  4. Click the drop-down list to select new location and click Apply.

Change location

3. Add more space to C: drive

If you cannot reclaim large amount of disk space, C drive may be full again in the near future, so you'd better expand it to as large as possible.

If there is unused space in any other partitions, NIUBI Partition Editor can transfer into C drive without losing data. Operating System, programs and associated setting keep the same with before.

To do this, Download NIUBI Partition Editor and follow the steps in the video:

Video guide

Windows 10 Disk Cleanup helps delete the unnecessary and junk files to reclaim disk space. NIUBI Partition Editor helps increase C drive free space by moving from other partitions, it also helps merge, convert, copy, defrag, wipe, hide, create, delete, format partition, scan bad sectors, etc.