Microsoft’s Windows operating system is one of the most used, preferred OS for both home and commercial use. Its popularity can be gauged from the fact that it has 90% of the worldwide Desktop market share and has managed to maintain its lead even after so many viruses, ransomware attacks, junkware/bloatware problems.
What irks a new/seasoned Windows a user is the number of junk files created after the Windows machine has been used for some time.
The junk files created depends on the particular use case/workflow of a user and varies greatly from users to users.
What exactly constitutes a junk file?
In simple words, Junk files are those files that are created whenever a user uses his/her computer.
These files are created by the computer and its related programs to help in the smooth functioning of the computer.
Examples of Junk files include temporary files created during internet usage through the browser, config or log files created during software installation or uninstallation, caching of regular files frequently used by the user which is done by Windows OS itself.
These temporary files are even created when we shutdown or boot the system up.
Why do Junk files pose a problem to the system?
Even though the end user doesn’t come in contact with them directly, these junk files start to pose a problem when they start to accumulate in a system.
A number of junk files accumulated over a period of time cause a system to read most of them and also keep a track of them even when they are not needed.
Also, junk files can occupy a significant amount of disk storage in most systems where storage would not be a surplus.
How to clean windows junk files?
There exists a number of tools and utilities both paid and free which help to clean up system junk.
Most of them just put additional strain on the system itself by gobbling up useful system resources that would otherwise be dedicated to other tasks by the OS.
The best solution to this problem is to use the default Disk Cleanup utility provided by Windows or use some other third party software such as CCleaner to achieve the same.
Windows Disk Cleaner Utility:
This utility is inbuilt into Windows OS itself and can be accessed in a number of ways.
- Use Windows + S key combination to search for Disk Cleanup as follows.
Note: As you can see from the image above, the search is case-insensitive, you can search for using Capital/Small alphabet combination.
- On clicking the above option from the search result above, a window similar to this will appear as below.
- On selecting the appropriate drive from the drop-down, you can clean any of your drives to get rid of junk files.
2. We can also access Windows Disk Cleanup from the My Computer/This PC window as well.
- Right click on the C Drive ( or any other drive you might want to clean ) so that you see a Disk Properties window as such:
- On clicking the Disk Cleanup button you will see a new small window popup similar to this one.
- On clicking Clean up system files after selecting what all files need to be cleaned up, Windows will remove the junk files from your system without the need for a third party tool.
- After that, click on “More Options” beside the Disk CleanUp tab and delete any System Restore Points.
CCleaner is a popular PC cleaner tool with more than 2 Billion downloads.
The sheer number of downloads is a testament to the fact that it is indeed one of the most popular PC cleaner tool available right now.
It is also available to download for Mac OS and Android as well.
Download and install CCleaner from the link below:
Note: CCleaner is available in free/professional/professional plus versions but for most users, the free version would do the job.
Upon installing and running CCleaner you will see a window similar to this:
- Click on the Analyze button to let CCleaner check for all the junk files from the system.
- Next click on Run Cleaner button to clean windows junk files.
Note: Although the user can directly click on the Run Cleaner button but in that case, it would be better to first analyze what all files need to be removed.
- The Run Cleaner button option will directly clean windows junk files without you being able to check them first.
Important Points to Note before cleaning Junk files:
- Although we have covered how to remove junk files from your Windows system in this article, it is advised to the end user to go through the cleaning and removal options before performing such an act.
- If any harm is done to the system from the user’s end, WE (The Team) at thetechiesguide.com shall not be held responsible for the same.
- The junkware cleaning options presented in the above examples contain both basic and advanced options that might have some relevant effect on the system as a whole.
- Do not clean system restore points when given the option for the same. They are used to return your system to an earlier working state in case of an emergency. Do this only if you are sure there is nothing wrong with the system and you just want to clean windows junk files & create space in your system.
- There are other third party tools available too but what they simply do is simply increase the load on your system and hence have not been recommended in this article in spite of their usage.
If you think, you can simply avoid this problem for long by buying a drive with a larger capacity, then you might be interested in reading our earlier article below.
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