There are few things as frustrating as a clogged up and buggy Windows 10 PC. When your hard drive is filled up and your CPU has too much on its plate, you’ll hardly execute any task on your computer.

Performing regular PC cleanups is one way to make sure you’re never caught up in this situation. In this article, we’ll show you how to clean Windows 10 to free up storage space and boost performance.

Let’s start.

Remove Junk Files

Windows 10 accumulates junk files overtime. These files include Windows Update files, system restore points, and third-party temporary files that are no longer useful. After some time, these files may take up gigabytes of space on your computer.

So, clearing them is a great place to start when cleaning up a Windows 10 machine.

You can either use the Disk Cleanup tool, which is a holdover from previous Windows versions, or the Settings application.

Use the Disk Cleanup tool

  1. Open the search window and type “disk cleanup.”
  2. Click on Disk Cleanups in the search results.
  3. Select the disk you want to clean up in the dialog that pops up.
  4. The program will now check for temporary files and display them in categories.
  5. Select the files you want to remove and click on the OK button.

Use the Disk Cleanup tool

  1. You can also clear temporary system files that you no longer need. To do that, click on the Cleanup System Files button, select the files you want to clear, and click on the OK button.

Use Settings

  1. Type “settings” in the search Window and click on Settings. You can hit Win + I to summon the program faster.
  2. Select the System icon when the Settings app comes up.
  3. Go to the left-hand side of the System window and click on Storage.
  4. You’ll find the Temporary Files option under Storage. Click on it.

Note: You only get to see the temporary files in your main drive (where Windows is installed) unlike the Disk Cleanup tool that allows you to choose any drive.

  1. After clicking on Temporary Files, Windows will scan for the files and display them in categories.
  2. Use the checkboxes to select the files you want to delete, then click on the Remove Now button.

You can also set up a tool known as Storage Sense to help you get rid of temporary files when your computer accumulates a lot of them. Again, note that the tool will only operate in your main Windows volume.

You can set it up to clear unused files in your recycle bin or Downloads folder after some time has passed. It will also clean up your drive when storage space starts getting low.

You can also set up a tool known as Storage Sense to help you get rid of temporary files when your computer accumulates a lot of them

To use Storage Sense, go to Settings >> System >> Storage and turn on the switch under Storage. Click on “Configure storage sense or run it now.” On the page that follows, choose your options for running Storage Sense and select Clean Now.

Another way – perhaps the best way – to keep your PC clean is by using automated software. With a tool like Auslogics BoostSpeed, you don’t have to do too much to regularly clean your Windows 10 PC. Its built-in Windows Slimmer tool helps you find and remove unneeded Windows components and third-party applications that take up space and slow the PC down. It gets rid of temporary Windows Update files, duplicate restore points, WinSXS libraries, disabled components, Windows demo content, and more.

It can also find and remove large duplicate files to free up more space. Another great thing about the Windows Slimmer tool is that it prevents data leakage to protect your privacy.

You have to install Auslogics BoostSpeed to use the Windows Slimmer. You can then access the tool in the All Tools tab.

Clear Browser Cache and Other Data

Whenever you visit a website, your browser automatically downloads and saves specific information locally, including things like forms, web app files, location of the site, and even images. This way, it’s able to load the site again without using your internet connection, making things run faster.

At some point, your browser could accumulate lots of cached data, clogging up your hard drive. It’s a good idea to delete the cache from time to time to free up space. What’s more, the browser cache could contain outdated and corrupt data that could prevent websites from loading properly.

There are different ways to clear your cache, depending on the browser you use. Let’s go through different browsers.

Google Chrome:

  1. Launch Google Chrome and click on the three dots in the top right corner.
  2. Click on More Tools after the menu slides out.
  3. Select Clear Browsing Data.
  4. Select All Time in the time range to delete everything.
  5. Tick the checkboxes beside “Cached images and files” and click on Clear Data.
  6. You can also select other data that you want to clear from the options.

Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Launch Firefox and click on the three lines (Menu) in the top right corner.
  2. Click on Privacy and Security.
  3. Go to the section for Cookies and Site Data and select Clear Data.
  4. Select the checkbox for Cached Web Content and click on the Clear button.

Microsoft Edge

  1. Open Microsoft Edge and click on the three dots in the top right corner.
  2. Select Settings once the menu slides out.
  3. Go to the left side of the Settings page and click on “Privacy, search, and services.”
  4. Scroll down the main page to the Clear Browsing Data section.
  5. Next, click on the “Choose what to clear” button beside “Clear browsing data now.”
  6. Once the “Clear browsing data” dialog appears, select “Cached images and files” and click on Clear Now.
  7. Note that you can select other options like Browsing History and Cookies and other site data if you want to clear them.
  8. You can use the “Choose what to clear every time you close the browser” to clear data whenever you finish any browsing session.

Clear data whenever you finish any browsing session

Remove Dormant Browser Extensions

Some browser extensions take up unnecessary space and slow your PC down. If you have extensions you no longer use, it’s a good idea to uninstall them to allow other applications run optimally.

Google Chrome:

  1. Launch Google Chrome and click on the three dots in the top right corner.
  2. Click on More Tools after the menu slides out.
  3. Select Extensions.
  4. Now, click on Remove under the extension you want to uninstall.

Remove unneded extensions from Google Chrome

  1. Click on Remove again.

Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Launch the Firefox browser and click on the three lines (Menu) in the top right corner.
  2. Click on Settings.
  3. Click on Extensions & Themes at the bottom of the left pane.
  4. Next, click on the three dots for the extension you wish to uninstall, and select Remove.

Microsoft Edge:

  1. Open Microsoft Edge and click on the three dots in the top right corner.
  2. Select Extensions.
  3. Once the Extensions page opens, click on the Remove button for the extension you want to get rid of and click on Remove again in the confirmation box.

Uninstall Unwanted Programs

Sometimes, you have no use for specific programs but they continue to take up space on your computer. These applications could also be dragging down your system’s performance as some of their processes could be running in the background.

To get rid of an unwanted program, head to the Settings app, click on Apps, and use the search box under Apps & Features to find the program. If you want to browse through your programs to find apps you no longer need, scroll through the Apps & Features list.

Here's how to uninstall unwanted programs from Windows

Get Rid of Leftover Program Files

After removing some programs, they could leave their installation files behind, which could take up a lot of space. In most cases, you can find these files and folders lurking in the Program Files or Program Files (x86) folder. In other situations, you’ll have to go to the Documents folder to weed them out.

Remove Malware

Malicious programs work in different ways to wreak havoc on your computer. Some of them can mess up with your system files and replicate themselves until there’s little to no storage left. Others can download other large suspicious files and even turn your computer into a cryptocurrency-mining machine.

Getting rid of every malware program on your PC will free up space and boost your system’s performance. You need a competent antivirus program to run a thorough scan. Tools like Auslogics Anti-Malware, whose virus definitions are regularly updated, can help you find and remove even the most stubborn malware programs.

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You can also run the Windows Virus & Threat Protection tool. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to the notifications area in your taskbar, click on the “Show hidden icons” arrow, and select the shield icon.
  2. Click on Virus & Threat Protection when the Windows Security panel opens.
  3. Click on Scan Options.

Run the Windows Virus & Threat Protection tool

  1. Select Full Scan on the next page and click on Scan Now.
  2. The Full Scan could take hours to complete, so allow it to run.
  3. Allow the tool to remove all the malicious programs it finds, then restart your PC.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, you have to be thorough to effectively clean your Windows 10 PC. However, decluttering your PC doesn’t have to be an uphill task if you use Auslogics BoostSpeed’s Windows Slimmer. The tool can perform regular maintenance or you can just click on the Start Scan button to clean up your computer.