If you are a laptop owner, I am sure you have had several experiences where your laptop slowed down, your desktop was full of unnecessary icons and files and it was just a huge mess.
Well, while using your laptop, unnecessary, temporary and duplicated files are being accumulated on your drives, which makes it run slower.
By deleting these files you not only open up precious room for new files, but the performance of your laptop also gets better.
What are junk files and how are they created?
While using all kinds of software, simply browsing on the Internet, maybe downloading stuff, temporary files are being piled up that contain useful data for a while, but after they lose their relevance, they become junk files.
The biggest problem is that your laptop doesn't delete junk files after finished using them.
Why do you need to delete junk files?
Although these junk files don't necessarily hurt your machine, but they do take up precious space which could slow it down.
The more junk files are there on your computer, the less space you have for storing other important files or software.
To improve the speed and performance of your machine, it is important to delete junk every once in a while.
But how can you make out what is trash and what are the necessary system files? In this article, we are going to show you how to find and get rid of junk files.
What are the most common junk files?
Your laptop creates temporary files for actions, that are essential for operation. For example, when you close the lid of your laptop, Windows automatically puts itself in sleep or hibernation mode (depends on your settings.)
These temporary files are very important as they contain every bit of information of what you did, just before you closed your laptop.
When you open your laptop again an the Operating System boots up, it reads these files and sets everything up how it was before, while deleting these temporary files.
During browsing, your internet browser software also stores several types of files, like Cache, Cookies and Temporary files that help in speeding up the websites that you visit more than once.
Unfortunately, these can pile up and cost a lot of disk space eventually.
Temporary files are also stored when installing and using certain software.
How to Find these Junk Files and Delete them from Your Laptop?
As you will see, there are many ways to clean junk files, and there are many places where they are stored.
I'm going to help you to find all the locations and show you many alternatives about how you can get rid of all them.
Feel free to pick the most appropriate method from the list below.
1. Install a Disk Cleaner Program
The easiest (and probably the fastest) way of getting rid of junk files is installing a disk cleaner. These programs are pretty easy to use and warn you before you delete any files, to make sure you don't delete anything by accident.
These disk cleanup programs are capable of deleting system junk files, browser history, cache, cookies and duplicated/unnecessary registries.
You can also set these up to automatically clean your computer on a regular basis, like weekly or monthly.
Some of the Best Disk Cleanup programs are:
- Disk Analyzer Pro
2. Right-click on the junk file
If you have already found the junk files, the simplest way to clean junk is to click on it with the right mouse button (or select them using the right mouse button), and click on "Delete".
This does not remove the file permanently, just puts the junk to the recycle bin.
You will still have to go to the Recycle Bin and empty it to ger rid of them for good.
3. Delete junk files with Disk Cleanup
It is a built-in tool in Windows for deleting hidden junk files.
Here is a step-by-step guide for using it:
Open "my computer"
Right-click on the drive that you want to clean
Click on "Properties"
Select "Disk cleanup"
Select the files that you wish to delete from the drop-down menu
Click on the "OK" button after selecting the junk files
It can also be run by searching for "Disk cleanup" and opening it.
4. Clearing Browsing Data
Most common of these junk files are browser histories and cache. You can easily delete these and free up a bunch of space on your computer.
- Open the browser
- Click on the three dots in the upper right corner
- Choose "Settings"
- Roll down and click on "Choose what to clear" under 'Clear browsing data'
- Tick what you want to delete and choose "Clear"
Below you can opt to "Always clear this when I close the browser" if you wish to clear browsing data regularly to remove junk files to clean up your Windows.
- Open Chrome and click on the three dots in the upper right corner
- From the menu choose "More tools" then choose "Clear browsing data"
- A window will be opened with "Basic" options and "Advanced". Go to "Advanced" and choose the time range and the things you want to be deleted.
- Click on "Clear data".
5. Delete duplicated files
There are a lot of duplicate finding applications out there that find and delete duplicated files on your hard drive to free up space.
Some popular options are:
- Duplicate Cleaner Free
- Duplicate File Finder
If you already use Ccleaner which we have already recommended you in one of our how to buy more storage article (Chapter: "Use a disk cleanup program to get rid of unnecessary files"), it has a duplicate finder tool.
6. Delete Windows update data on Windows 10
- Open Drive C:, then Windows
- Open Software distribution
- Choose "Download"
- Select all the files and delete them.
If in any case, Windows 10 needs these files, they will be downloaded again.
7. Delete temporary files
- Click on the Windows icon with right-click
- Choose "Run"
- Type °%temp% and choose "ok"
- Delete all junk files by saving any of the work that you are currently doing with any of the applications.
- Again open "Run" by right-clicking on the Windows icon and just type in temp. This is another location where junk files are stored.
- Delete them all to clean up the temp location.
This process can also be done by opening C drive, then Windows, and rolling down searching for "Temp" and deleting junk.
8. Deleting prefetched files
- Open C drive, then Windows.
- Roll down and search for "Prefetch".
- Delete all the files and folders
What to do in order to recover deleted files by accident?
Accidentally deleting important system files can make your laptop stop running properly.
If you are not confident about which files to remove as junk ones, we suggest you avoid removing from locations other than your downloads, documents, music, pictures, videos and your desktop.
In such cases, it is important to have a copy of your personal files and downloads in a reliable storage device (e.g. a large external USB hard drive).
In case You deleted several files and there were necessary ones among them, it is possible to recover them.
Recoverit Data Recovery is the tool for "bringing files back to life" and it can be used on iOs, Android, and Windows devices.
Another alternative is System Restore, which is a Windows tool that can save you in such cases.
Before you start to clean junk files, make sure that System Restore is enabled.
How Often Should You delete junk Files?
If you sit in front of the monitor several hours each day and download many files, then disk cleanup is suggested 1-2 times a week, but if you just hop on a couple of times each week, cleaning out the junk once or twice a month can keep the junk files from piling up and slowing your laptop down.