How to Do a Disk Cleanup

by Joshua Phillips

Under normal circumstances, uninstalling programs or applications from your Windows 8.1 PC is the only step most users need to take towards freeing up hard drive space. However, you may find that there's still some unaccounted-for usage of your hard drive. You can use the Windows 8.1 Disk Cleanup tool to free up this hidden hard drive space. The tool enables you to safely delete items such as your temporary Internet files, offline Web pages and thumbnails. Disk Cleanup is available on all versions of Windows 8.1.


Select the "Settings" option from the Windows 8 Charms bar.


Select "Control Panel," then select "Administrative Tools."


Select "Disk Cleanup" from the Administrative Tools list. If you only have one hard drive, the Disk Cleanup window will open; otherwise, select the hard drive you want to clean.


Click the box to the left of each item you want to delete. A check appears in the box to indicate that you selected it.


Click "OK," then click "Delete Files" in the confirmation window to complete the cleanup process.


  • check Advanced users can opt to delete system files, such as Windows upgrade log files, system error dump files and debug dump files, in the Disk Cleanup tool by clicking the button labeled "Clean Up System Files."


  • close While it's safe to delete the normal entries found in the Disk Cleanup tool, deleting system files can make it difficult to troubleshoot and identify Windows problems.

About the Author

Joshua Phillips has done it all when it comes to video games: strategy guides, previews, reviews, in-depth interviews with developers and extensive public relations work. He has written for websites such as Hardcore Gaming 101 and MyInsideGamer.