How to clean up junk files and folders that take up space on your PC.



It happens. The longer we keep our devices, the more cluttered they become.

Open your phone’s app bar for a good example. How many are there that you haven’t opened for months or years? This clutter is not only annoying, it can also be dangerous. Tap or click to intelligently remove apps you don’t use.

On your PC, your Start menu is probably a mess too. It’s easy to clean, and you’ll thank yourself every time you click on it. Tap or click for quick steps to ban spam email.

Then there are all those files that you really don’t need. Read on for your easy action plan to free up space like a pro:

Step 1: empty the trash

When you delete a file, it doesn’t go away. It goes to the trash first, waiting for you to take more permanent action. To get them out of purgatory, right click on your recycle bin and click Empty recycling bin.

Here’s another option that shows you even more files: go to Settings> System> Storage> Temporary files. You will see a list of temporary files, including the contents of the Recycle Bin. Check the Trash box (and whatever else you want to get rid of), then select Delete files.

Deleting old photos, documents, and spreadsheets is just the start. This 5 minute tech fix will help you speed up your PC.

Step 2: Clear Temporary Files

Temporary files are created to help applications or processes run smoothly – or to help with data transfer and other processes. Over time, they can take up a lot of space. To erase them, open your C: drive and select it Windows folder, so Temp (C: Windows Temp). hurry Ctrl + A to select all, then press Wipe off.

You can also navigate to Settings> System> Storage> Temporary files. Select what you want to delete and press Delete files.

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Step 3: Clear the hibernation file

When you put your PC to sleep, it stores your windows, documents, and open files in memory.

Hibernate does the same thing, but it saves these items to your hard drive instead of using your system memory. You can turn off hibernation if you are not using it. Here’s how:

Right click on the Start button Where press Win + X, then select Command prompt (administrator) Where Windows PowerShell (administrator). Type the following command to disable hibernation: powercfg.exe / hibernation disabled.

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Step 4: Remove the old version of Windows

Windows automatically removes the old version of the operating system from your computer after an upgrade. You can also delete it manually before it happens to save space. Please note: you will not be able to revert to your previous version of Windows if you change your mind.

Go to Settings> System> Storage> Temporary files. Under Delete temporary files, select Previous version of Windows then Delete files.

Bonus Tip: Tech Refresh is my fun and fast-paced podcast on all things tech.

Discover my “Tech Refresh” podcast on Apple podcasts, Google Podcasts, or your favorite podcast player.

Every week, I sit down with my friends Allie and Ben to talk about the latest tech news, goofy stories online, and more. We’re trying to crash into fake news headlines, and Ben always has a stellar product review. It’s like sitting around the table with your tech-savvy friends.

Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for “Tech Refresh”.

Discover all the latest technologies on the Kim Komando show, the nation’s biggest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and gives advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacking. For daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit their website at

The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of USA TODAY.


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