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Safely delete temporary files in Windows 10 and Windows 11

Computers accumulate a lot of temporary files that can be safely deleted using the built-in tools in Windows 10 and Windows 11. For most people, the built-in Windows temporary file removal tools are more than enough.  Third-party temporary file removers and system optimizers may remove settings and history that you want to keep.

There is no need to download applications such as CCleaner to remove temporary files. Programs like CCleaner use to be a go-to during the early days of Windows. However, since Windows 7 the built-in tools have become more than enough to safely remove unwanted files. In addition to removing files, you probably want to keep, third-party file removal programs and optimizers have been targeted by cybercriminals to install information-stealing malware.

CCleaner for Windows Hacked to Spread Malware, Update Now

Remove temporary files in 5 easy steps

If the steps below are unable to free up enough space on your computer, we suggest contacting an IT Pro to isolate what is causing your hard drive to run low in storage space.

1. Select Start menu > Settings

Select Windows settings gear in Start menu

2. Select System

Windows settings > System
Windows settings > System

3. Select Storage

Select storage

4. Select Temporary files

5. The default selections are safe to delete and will not affect any settings or history in your applications. Caution: You should review files in Downloads and the Recycle Bin before you delete them.

Delete temporary files

Windows Storage Sense will automatically remove some temporary files such as downloaded cloud content, temporary application files, files in the Download folder, and old files in Recycle Bin.

Learn More: Automate Temporary File Removal

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