Free Disk Cleanup – how to do it?

Disk Cleanup

Disk Cleanup

Three Easy Steps for a Disk Cleanup

Over time computer users download, copy, save multiple versions of files and often forget them in some hidden corner of the disk drive. Even though the storage  sizes have grown quite large lately and a terabyte of disk space is something common, the size of the media files has grown proportionally too. This puts the situation back in the starting point where disk space is never enough. In the busy world today it is difficult to keep an organized computer or laptop and even the most pedantic individuals sometimes fail to keep track of all the data. Luckily there are plenty of options to solve these issues.

Freeing up disk space by cleaning up temporary file

Using the built in Windows disk cleanup tools will not solve the issue completely, but is a good starting point for this task. Getting rid of the temporary files scattered in multiple locations can sometime restore gigabytes of disk space.
How to run the Windows built-in disk cleanup tool:

  • Click Start, and then click Run. In the Open box, type cleanmgr, and then click OK.
  • Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Disk Cleanup.

The tool will delete temporary files, clean your recycle bin and also remove old downloads.

Freeing up disk space by analyzing folder sizes and removing large files

The easiest thing to do in order to quickly restore large amounts of disk space is to remove the largest unnecessary files first. The standard Windows tools will not help much in this task and such information is missing in Windows Explorer. Fortunately the Folder Size freeware from MindGems can accomplish this task quickly. The tool reveals the largest files and the largest folders in a neat table and also presents the information using bar and pie charts. A preview of the main application window can be found below:

Folder Size Application Window

Folder Size Application Window

Eliminating redundant data by removing duplicate files

The next important task in the disk cleanup process is to remove duplicate files. Again such feature is not available in Windows, but there are plenty of duplicate file finders that you can choose from. Users should be careful when choosing the ones that suits their needs though, as some of these tools may look at file names or file sizes and present incorrect results. The file name is not important when  the word comes to duplicate files, as the file content is important in such case. A good tool should perform a real byte-to-byte file analysis in order to identify duplicates. The free Duplicate File Finder tool from MindGems provides accurate and reliable results combined with a fast performance.

Duplicate Finder

Duplicate Finder

Fast Duplicate File Finder has plenty of options and scan methods and can identify also files with similar content (different revisions of a file) and files with similar names (MyCv1.doc, MyCv2012.doc, Cv2013.doc etc.).

Performing the above steps on a regular basis will help in keeping an organized computer system with a minimum of redundant data.

This article applies to the following operating systems:

Desktop OS: Window 8 / Widnows 7 / Windows Vista/Windows XP / Windows 98 including x86 and x64 32 bit and 64 bit operating systems.
Server OS: Windows Server 2003 / Home Server / Server 2008 / EBS 2008 / HPC Server 2008 / Server 2008 R2 / Home Server 2011 / Server 2012 / MultiPoint Server / Small Business Server

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