How To Delete Temporary Files in Windows 10
How To Delete Temporary Files in Windows 10

Windows 10, the widely used operating system, accumulates temporary files over time as you perform various tasks and use applications. These temporary files can take up valuable disk space and potentially slow down your system. Deleting these files is a simple yet effective way to optimize your computer’s performance. In this guide, we will explore the step-by-step process of delete temporary files in Windows 10, helping you keep your system running smoothly.

Important Note: Before proceeding, ensure that you have saved any important work and closed all open applications to avoid data loss. Deleting temporary files is generally safe, but it’s always good practice to take precautions.

Step 1: Open the Disk Cleanup Tool:

Windows 10 comes with a built-in Disk Cleanup tool that allows you to delete various types of temporary files. Here’s how to access it:

  • Press the Windows key + S to open the search bar.
  • Type “Disk Cleanup” and select the corresponding result.

Alternatively, you can access Disk Cleanup by navigating through File Explorer:

  • Open File Explorer.
  • Right-click on the drive you want to clean (usually C:).
  • Select “Properties.”
  • In the Properties window, click on the “Disk Cleanup” button.

Step 2: Choose the Drive to Clean:

If you have multiple drives, the Disk Cleanup tool will prompt you to select the drive you want to clean. Choose the drive where your operating system is installed (usually the C: drive) and click “OK.”

Step 3: Select File Types to Delete:

Once the Disk Cleanup tool calculates the amount of space you can free up, it will present you with a list of file types that can be deleted. Check the boxes next to the types of files you want to remove. Common categories include:

  • Temporary files
  • Thumbnails
  • Recycle Bin
  • Temporary Internet Files
  • System created Windows Error Reporting

Feel free to select multiple categories to maximize the cleanup.

Step 4: Start the Cleanup Process:

Click on the “OK” button to proceed. The tool will ask for confirmation before starting the cleanup. Click “Delete Files” to initiate the process.

Step 5: Clearing Windows Update Cleanup (Optional):

If your system has recently undergone a Windows update, you may notice an option called “Windows Update Cleanup” in the Disk Cleanup tool. This category includes files that are no longer needed after a Windows update. You can select this option to free up additional space.

  • After running the initial Disk Cleanup, go back to the Disk Cleanup tool.
  • Click on the “Clean up system files” button.
  • Select the drive again and click “OK.”
  • Check the “Windows Update Cleanup” option.
  • Click “OK” and then “Delete Files” to start the cleanup.

Step 6: Manually Clearing the Temp Folder:

In addition to using the Disk Cleanup tool, you can manually delete files from the Temp folder. Here’s how:

  • Press Windows key + R to open the Run dialog.
  • Type “%temp%” and press Enter. This opens the Temp folder.
  • Select all files and folders within the Temp folder.
  • Right-click and choose “Delete.”

Note: Some files may be in use and cannot be deleted. Skip those files and delete the rest.

Step 7: Clearing the Prefetch Folder (Optional):

The Prefetch folder contains files used by Windows to load applications more quickly. Over time, this folder can accumulate unnecessary data. To clear the Prefetch folder:

  • Open the Run dialog (Windows key + R).
  • Type “prefetch” and press Enter.
  • Select all files in the Prefetch folder.
  • Right-click and choose “Delete.”

Step 8: Restart Your Computer:

After completing the cleanup process, it’s a good idea to restart your computer. This ensures that any temporary files in use are cleared, and your system benefits from the freed-up space.


Deleting temporary files in Windows 10 is a straightforward process that can significantly improve your system’s performance and free up valuable disk space. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily navigate through the Disk Cleanup tool and manually clear temporary folders. Regular maintenance of your system, including the removal of temporary files, contributes to a smoother computing experience.

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