Caches are memory locations that store temporary data and files that may be needed again in the future. Over time such files could accumulate and begin to take up a substantial amount of disk space and in some cases start affecting some Windows operations and slowing down the computer.
Below are eight possible techniques you can use to locate such temporary files and clear them. Clearing cache files from these locations could potentially speed up your Windows especially if you haven’t performed such cleaning operations in a long while or if your disk space is limited.
If your C drive is already running out of disk space, then see: How to Free Hard Disk Space in Windows | Automatically Full Drive C [Solved]
1. Use Simple Commands to Reveal and Delete Temporary Files from Different Locations
Here, we’re going to run some simple commands to reveal temporary files in different locations on our windows. To do that you go to your search and type run, then click on the run app from the search results.
On the run search box, type %temp% and hit enter.
This will show the temporary files from your applications, so here select all the files in this folder using control C, then right-click and select delete to remove these files.
Next, go back to the run app and type temp, then hit enter. This will show windows temporary files, again here select all the files and hit delete to remove them.
Then go to run one more time and type prefetch, hit enter. Again, here select all files and hit delete to remove them.
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2. Delete Old Windows Installation Files (If Not Already Deleted)
To do that you go to your search and type storage, click on storage from the search results. On the page below, click on Temporary files. After the scanning, you should have all this list of files you can remove, among them would be your Previous Windows Installation files if you still have them on your PC.
These old Windows installation could occupy quite a substantial amount of disk space, in my case, it holds about 5 GB. So I will select the box next to it, here I also have all these other locations selected by default, system memory error dump files, thumbnails and all the others which I don’t need anymore, so with all that selected I will go to the top and click on remove files to delete them. Of course, you may not see this option in your temporary files if you have made a fresh Windows installation or it has been a long while you upgraded from one version of Windows to another. This is because windows should automatically delete these files after a while, but if you are running out of disk space you can already delete these files manually using this method.
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3. Clear SoftwareDistribution Download Folder
This folder normally stores Automatic Windows update files. However often times after Windows has already installed the downloaded updates, these temporary files still remain in the download folder.
To delete these temporary files, you will need to be logged in with an admin account. Then go to your computer folder and click on this PC, then open the drive where you have your Windows installation files, usually is the C drive. Open the Windows folder, then search for a folder named SoftwareDistribution. Here open the download folder, and there you should see all the temporary windows update files, here again, select all the files and hit delete to remove them.
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4. Perform a Disk Cleanup
For that go to your search and type “Disk Cleanup”, click on the disk cleanup app from the search results. On this dialog box, select the disk you want to clean up. I will be cleaning up the C drive so I will leave the drive option as C and hit ok. Shortly after, a window like this should pop up, here it says I can free up about 33 GB, but nearly all of that is from my download folder. In your case, you may have all these other locations occupying a substantial amount of disk spaces, so with all unwanted locations selected, click on clean up system files, hit ok and wait for the process to complete. Afterward, you will see this window once again, here hit ok. Then delete files.I’ve observed that by repeating this process multiple times, more and more disk space gets freed up, so you can run it a few times until you notice no further release of disk space.
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5. Clear Microsoft Windows Store Cache
This is the location where Windows stores the temporary installation files for your Windows Store applications.
After installing these apps, then is okay to delete these temporary installation files. In addition, if you are having issues installing apps from Windows store, then clearing this cache is one possible way to resolve such issues.
To do that go to your search and type cmd. Right-click on CMD from the search results and select run as administrator. On the command line terminal, type in the command “wsreset” and hit enter. Wait for some time as the process runs on the background. Afterwards, your Microsoft Store should open up indicating the process is now complete.
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6. Clear Your Media Files
This is the location where media editing applications like Premier pro or Photoshop store temporary media files. This cache could contain files in megabytes or several gigabytes, depending on how much media content you create on your computer.
If you edit a lot of videos or photos, then is likely that you have a larger space occupied by these temporary media files. To clear your media cache files, go to your computer folder, open the C drive, go to users and open your user account.
Here open AppData, then Roaming. Now depending on your media editing applications, mine is mainly adobe packages, Premier pro, Photoshop and After effect. Yours could be some other media applications. So here I will go to Adobe, then Common, and here you have the folder Media Cache. Here you have your temporary media files, simply select all using control A, and then hit delete to clear them.
7. Clear Unnecessary Restore Points
Manually or automatically, you might have some restore points set on your computer that could have accumulated a lot of data over time, the longer they extend the more data they accumulate, and of course more disk space.
You may want to clear this from time to time and set new ones if you have no issues with your computer. To do that go to search and type, “Restore point”, click on create restore point from the search results.By default, there’s a restore point set on drive C where Windows is installed. So with drive C selected, click on configure. Here you have it, by default, there’s a cap set on 10 GB, and I’ve almost maxed that out, of course, it automatically renews the content, removing older and putting newer content, but now I want to clear all that old stuff and create a new restore point so here I will click on delete. Continue, then close this window. I will now click on create to make a new restore point.Here I will name it after the date of creation to keep tap on when it was created. Hit create and wait for the process to complete.
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Clear Your Browser Data and Cache
This is often ignored, but it could actually go a long way, not just does it free up some disk space, it also helps to speed up your browser.
To clear your browser cache, open up the browser, in my case I use Google chrome, but this process should be about same for other browsers. Here press the keyboard combination “Ctrl + h” to reveal your browsing history. Then on this left pane, you will find where it says, “clear browsing data”, click on it and a dialog box like this should pop up. Here click on the advanced tab, and then you will see a list of data that you can delete. First I’m going to set my time range as all time from this dropdown. Now in my case I’m going to leave the browsing history so I will click to uncheck it. I don’t need the download history so I will have it selected. Then click on clear data to remove selected files. This might not mean much to your disk space, but it can speed up your browser.
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Please share your comments, questions and feedback in the comment section below.
The following video demonstrates the solutions in this tutorial.
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