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How to delete old files and clean your Windows PC

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How to delete old files and clean your Windows PC

Finding and deleting unwanted files on your PC is a task everyone thinks will take hours, and it actually only takes a minute or two. Don't think of it as simple as using Windows 10's File Explorer.

The Windows Settings menu is designed to eliminate digital clutter. It is the most sophisticated DIY theme tool WinDirStat (which we recommend if you want to dive deeper).

Demand is growing: Laptops with 128 and 256 GB SSDs are still the norm, but photos and videos are taking up a lot of space. If you are a fan of the classic restart of games like Flight Simulator, you should know that it can take up to 150 GB of storage, due to its loneliness. We'll tell you below how you can recreate part of that space.

How to use Windows 10 storage settings

In the Windows 10 Settings menu, go to ‘Settings> System> Storage'. At the top, you will see a switch to open the ‘Stension Sensor' and open it. We'll talk about that later.

In the center of the screen, you'll see a local hard drive (or disk) with an easy-to-read menu that explains how storage is divided within your PC. Note how the layer tells you the approximate function: “Uninstall unused or unwanted programs and features”, “Delete unused cloud-supported content”, and so on. Each section tells you how much of your PC storage is made with apps, videos, etc.

Traditionally, apps take up a lot of space on a PC. You may find that the “little” game you download takes up a few gigabytes that you want to recover.

Click on the ‘Applications' menu, which will take you to a page where Windows will show you applications stored on your PC. Reset the list by file size to see which applications use the most space, then click on the application and select ‘Uninstall' to delete it. Please note that some native Windows applications, such as photos, cannot be uninstalled.

“Temporary files” and “OneDrive subtitles” are a model for junk mother files. Clicking on a temporary subtitle of files opens up a host of files that even unnecessarily get Windows, from temporary Internet files to the Recycle Bin. Click the ‘Delete files' button at the top to delete everything.

OneDrive theme is even more relevant. By default, Microsoft's cloud storage service supports your documents, photos, and your desktop folder.

But it saves the holder, the type of file marker on your local computer. Files saved in your local storage are stored on your local hard drive, but a copy is also stored in OneDrive (as long as you have space).

Windows is smart enough to know that such a copy exists, and can delete the local copy, save the bookmark and store the copy in the cloud. (Note: do not expect this option to simply copy your hard drive to the cloud. No! It will only clean up previously copied local files, which will not be for your entire PC).

The file created by OneDrive can be accessed by clicking on File Explorer, as a local file. However, before it can be accessed, it must be downloaded from OneDrive, which is unpopular with users with slow or unreliable internet connection. It can save space, I'm sure, but it may not be worth the disruption.

Similarly, you may find that the remaining storage categories are not worth analyzing as part of your digital cleaning process. Desktop folders and videos may contain content that you want to keep, and even if you select the Show more Categories link below, only folders like Docs and Music will be left open.

How to use Storage Sense, the owner of your digital home

Remember that “Temporary Files” was a good place to find files to delete? Why not let Windows do it for you? That's the thinking behind Sense Storage, switching to the top of the Storage settings page. When you open it, it will automatically delete the files in the Recycle Bin after 30 days and delete some temporary files as well.

But kindly open the settings / options for the Storage Sense pages / options page, from which point the feature was released at the beginning of Windows. Our previous Storage Sense tutorial is still available, but Windows has added the option to delete files in the Downloads folder. I don't want that to happen all the time, and you probably don't want that to happen to you either.

Note that Stense Sense strikes only when you are down in disk space. If you are downloading a great game like Flight Simulator, you can create Windows fire – there is plenty of room to start Storage Sense, but it is not enough to download the game. You can always go to the bottom of the Stree Sense editing page and start Stense Sense manually.

WinDirStat: A Steam Gamers Tool

The only limitation I noticed in Windows storage settings is that they are blind when it comes to other app stores. If you download other games via Steam, for example, Windows can't see how much space it takes.

As my colleague Brad Chacos explains, WinDirStat solves this problem by providing an overview of your hard drive, with a template that shows the size and type of your files. Want to know how many .MP4 video files? WinDirStat can tell you.

It gives you this information on a web-based interface such as File Explorer and a graphical interface, so you may need to browse around and find any hidden Steam games, for example, that you may have noticed.

The combination of Windows Store and WinDirStat settings may not clean your hard drive properly, but it will help you make an informed decision about what to save and what to remove. And if you do not have enough storage space, you may want to check out our collection of advanced external drives to find many more.

Gamer, passionate about video games, technologies, gadgets and everything related to the world of electronics.

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