How to Free Up Disk Space by Cleaning System Junk Files on C Drive in Windows OS

Having enough free disk space on your Windows computer is important for optimal performance. When your C drive starts to fill up, your computer may run slower, apps can crash more often, and you may start to run out of room for files you need. Fortunately, Windows provides some easy ways to free up space on your C drive by cleaning out system junk files that you no longer need.

Why You Should Clean Up Junk Files

Junk files refer to temporary files, cached files, logs, error reports, and other files that accumulate on your system over time and take up space unnecessarily. Here are some key reasons to clean them out periodically:

  • Free up disk space: Junk files can gradually eat up gigabytes of space on your C drive, which can slow down your system and prevent you from installing updates or new programs. Deleting them frees up precious space.
  • Improve performance: A cluttered C drive filled with junk files puts extra load on your system resources. Cleaning them out helps speed up computer boot time, app launching, file searches, and more.
  • Remove potential security risks: Some junk files like temporary internet files can pose a security risk if they contain private browsing data or cached website code. It’s best to clear them out.

Built-In Windows Tools for Deleting Junk Files

The good news is Windows provides some easy built-in tools for cleaning out different types of junk files from your C drive to free up space. Here are the best ones to use:

1. Disk Cleanup

Disk Cleanup finds and deletes various system files and other unnecessary content from your hard drive. To use it:

  1. Type “Disk Cleanup” in the Windows search bar and open the app
  2. Select your C drive and click OK
  3. Check the file types you want to delete
  4. Click Clean up system files
  5. Select your C drive again and click OK
  6. Review selected files then click OK to delete

Disk Cleanup can free up anywhere from a few hundred megabytes to over 10GB of space depending on how much junk is on your system.

2. Storage Sense

Storage Sense is another built-in Windows tool that can automatically or manually delete temporary files, empty the recycle bin, and remove other unnecessary content over time.

To enable it:

  1. Go to Settings > System > Storage
  2. Turn on Storage Sense
  3. Click Configure Storage Sense
  4. Choose frequency and files to delete automatically

Storage Sense will then clear out junk in the background on the schedule you set without you having to think about it.

3. Remove Restore Points

Old Windows Restore Points can quickly take up over 10GB of space. To delete them:

  1. Open Disk Cleanup
  2. Click Clean up system files
  3. Check Previous Windows installation(s)
  4. Click OK and then Delete Files

This will remove all except the most recent restore point, freeing up a lot of space.

Third Party Tools for Cleaning Junk Files

If the built-in Windows tools don’t clear out enough space, third party utilities like CCleaner and Wise Disk Cleaner offer more advanced junk file cleaning capabilities.

Features they add include:

  • Deleting old Windows update installer files
  • Removing residual junk left over from uninstalled software
  • Clearing more app and web browser caches/histories/cookies
  • Securely wiping free disk space of temporary data remnants

Just be careful not to delete anything currently in use by an app or Windows itself. Review what will be deleted first and create a system restore point before proceeding in case you need to undo any changes.

Other Tips for Freeing Disk Space on C Drive

Here are a few other useful things you can do to free up room on your Windows C drive:

  • Uninstall unused apps: Remove software you no longer need through Settings > Apps > Apps & features
  • Move data to external drive: Store files like photos, videos, music, etc on an external USB drive instead
  • Delete large files: Manually delete large files you no longer need through File Explorer
  • Enable storage compression: Compressing your C drive can save up to 10-20% of space

Following this comprehensive guide on cleaning out junk files using built-in Windows tools as well as third party utilities will help you to successfully free up valuable disk space. Doing this periodic maintenance lets your system run faster while giving you room for new files you need.