How to Remove Junk Files From Windows 11?

There are many ways to delete junk files from your PC, and this article describes the pros and cons of each. These instructions are for Windows, but many of these methods can be implemented on other versions of Windows as well.

How Do I Get Rid of System Junk on My PC?

Many methods overlap, and there are several available. Starting from the easiest to perform, here are the best ways to clear away junk files in Windows 11.

Empty the Recycle Bin

Empty the Recycle Bin

The first step to cleaning up junk files is to make sure they’re deleted. Since you’ve already determined which files should be removed, this is often overlooked. If you delete a file, it lands in the Recycle Bin, but until you empty it, nothing is permanently removed.

  • Go to the Recycle Bin and open it. By double-clicking the icon on the desktop or typing the address into the address bar of File Explorer, you can access it.
  • Choose Empty Recycle Bin, then click Yes to confirm.

If you are deleting things in the future, keep Shift pressed to avoid doing this. Instead of going straight to the Recycle Bin, those files will bypass it, cleaning up all the junk files immediately.

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Delete Temporary Files

Additionally, Windows 11 uses temporary files to store junk files. In addition to being easy to delete, they are also protected by Storage Sense, which will auto-delete temporary files (including those in the Recycle Bin as well).

  • Open Settings (Win+i) and select System > Storage.
  • Remove temporary files by selecting Temporary files > Continue.
  • Click the back arrow at the top left to return to the previous screen, and then toggle Storage Sense on if it isn’t already.
  • Keep Windows running smoothly is the first option you need to enable. Make sure that Automatic User content cleanup is turned on as well.
  • Configure the cleanup schedules as you wish. For example, if you wish to automatically clean junk files once per month, choose Once per month. It is also possible to schedule the removal of files from the Downloads folder and the Recycle Bin.
  • As soon as you select Run Storage Sense now, these actions will be performed on-demand.

Additionally, you can find out what occupies all of your computer’s space under the Storage tab in Settings. You can sort the list of installed programs by size by selecting Installed apps, for example, to identify which ones can be deleted to free up space.

Run Disk Cleanup

As part of Windows 11, Disk Cleanup can be used to delete junk files such as program files, temporary internet files, caches, and thumbnails. It may not seem like an easy task to erase these things, but you can easily do so in order to free up some space and provide a more responsive experience.

Disk Cleanup Windows 11

Another way to remove temporary files is by emptying the Recycle Bin.

  • Disk Cleanup can be found and opened by searching for it.
  • Once you choose Clean up system files, Windows will calculate how much space you could save if you delete these junk files.
  • Then click OK and Delete Files after checking the box next to the item you want to delete.

Run CCleaner

CCleaner Cleanup Windows 11

Although Microsoft approves these methods, they’re not the only ones you can use to remove junk files from Windows 11. Third-party tools are arguably more effective for removing junk files, but they are also more risky since they contain more options.

We recommend CCleaner for registry cleaning, but it also includes a section for cleaning junk files. The following is a quick tutorial on how to use it to remove temporary files and other things from places where Windows’ tools won’t work:

  1. Download and install CCleaner and select the Custom Clean option.
  2. All the items you wish to clean should be checked. A tab for Windows and a tab for Applications separate the items. It’s useful for deleting junk files related to MS programs like Edge, IE, Explorer, and System, while the latter is useful for clearing junk files related to third-party programs like web browsers.
  3. You can start deleting junk files by selecting Run Cleaner. CCleaner can also analyze your system for a more detailed look at what it can remove (nothing will be deleted).
CCleaner Clean All Files

A favorite feature of CCleaner over similar junk file cleaners is its ability to create a shortcut to clean up your computer with a simple double-click from the desktop. More information can be found in the CCleaner command-line parameters.

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Should You Delete System Junk Files?

Doesn’t that make sense? There is no point in keeping junk files. There are two possibilities: either they are no longer used by your computer or it is safe to delete them.

System junk files are normal for your computer, and you do not necessarily need to delete them all the time. The following are a few reasons to get rid of these kinds of files from your PC:

  • Space should be freed up. Your computer will soon be cluttered with junk files that take up a lot of space. By deleting unnecessary files, you can free up disk space if you’re running low on it.
  • Get your system up to speed. When a computer is constantly dealing with unneeded files, it must spend extra resources maintaining them. By deleting junk files, you may be able to speed up downloads, stream videos, and perform virus scans faster.
  • Remove malware from your computer. While viruses don’t often hide among junk files, malware can sometimes hide among them, making erasing these files even better at removing dangerous files.

Deleting junk files, though, can also have consequences you don’t want. Cookies from web browsers could be considered junk if you don’t want them stored on your computer, but erasing them will log you out of the relevant web accounts.

Depending on how you clear junk files, it may also remove clipboard contents, erase your current browsing session, and remove log files needed to troubleshoot PC issues. Nevertheless, if you read carefully before deleting, you shouldn’t have any surprises.

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