How To Safely Delete Files In Windows 10 To Save Space

Junk files are files that remain on your computer after a task has been performed. Sometimes, Windows or some program needs to create temporary files while doing some task and then forgets to delete the temporary files it created. As time goes by, your computer is full of junk files in the form of temporary files, log files, downloaded files, and unwanted/unnecessary Windows registry entries. All these files are stored in C drive of your computer. Since C drive contains a lot of important data required to run the system, it is not safe to blindly delete them. In this article, we will explain you, how to safely delete Files in Windows 10 to save space.

Delete Junk Files in Windows 10:

Search Disk Cleanup in the search box or you can find it under Start > All Apps > Windows Administrative Tools.


Click on Disk Cleanup to start the program. You will be asked which drive you want to clean up. The default is C drive. Just make sure it is selected and click on OK. The disk cleanup program will then start analyzing different folders and types of files that it thinks is safe to delete.


disk cleanup tool


When the analyzing is done, you will be presented with a window similar to the following – it lists what all is removable without causing problems to the operating system or installed applications.


how to use disk cleanup


Click on Delete Files to permanently delete all the selected items from your Computer.


delete files from windows


Which files you can delete safely?

1. Temporary Internet Files

2. Downloaded Program Files

3. Offline Webpages

4. Recycle Bin

5. Temporary files

6. Thumbnails

7. Old Windows folder


Temporary Internet files are used to speed up load of websites in most cases. In other cases, they are files left out after a session just as the temporary files that are created when you are using an app and are not deleted after the app is closed. Normally, an app creates temporary files when in usage and deletes them when closed. Sometimes it fails to delete the files and they are shown under Temporary files. Both of them are safe to delete so you should check the boxes to tell the OS that you are ready to delete them.


Downloaded Program Files are the files that an app installer leaves behind after installing the related app. These are useless as they do nothing except to occupy space on the hard disk drive. You may remove them without any hesitation.


Offline web pages are the ones stored by your browsers to avoid delays in loading web pages. You might want to keep them in case of slower Internet connection. It helps in loading web pages that you frequent.


Thumbnails are previews of image files. There is no harm in deleting them. They will always be rebuild when you access the image files again.


Old Windows are files that Windows 10 keeps for a while so that you can roll back to a previous version of Windows. It shows up when you click on System Files in the UI of Disk Cleanup. If you upgraded from Windows 8.1, the Windows.old folder is important if you choose to go back from Windows 10 to Windows 8.1.

Follow this guide to know more about Windows.old and delete it from your computer.



Recycle Bin is the place where the deleted files go. When you delete a file, it goes to the folder named recycle bin and still occupies space on the hard disk drive. Open Recycle Bin from Desktop to see what all files are there. If you need any file, right-click on the file and select restore. Having checked the files, if you are sure that you longer need those files, tick the Recycle Bin to clean its content so that HDD space is gained.


Windows Temporary files are again files that are left behind by programs even when you close them.


Error Reporting Files are basically logs that contain information about events that lead to an improper Windows or related app behavior. These are helpful when troubleshooting Windows.


Windows Defender Files – can be deleted without hesitation.


Windows Upgrade Log Files – you’ll need them to troubleshoot if the upgrade did not go as intended. These logs help in identifying the errors that happened during the upgrade. If you have successfully upgraded, you can remove them.


Device Driver Packages – contains device drivers which you may have to use in future when a device is not functioning properly. In most cases, these are but pointers that tell Windows where to look for files.




How to delete large files safely using CMD:

Two usual ways followed by most of us are, either right clicking on such large folders and choosing the delete option, or pressing the Shift + Delete button.

In the latter case, the huge file gets deleted from the file explorer, or rather the Windows explorer. But in the current scenario, these are considered to be the worst ways to do the needed. The main reason is that, before pushing them off to the Recycle bin, all the files inside the huge folder undergoes a check. This consumes much time. Also, not all files get easily into the trash depending on their type.

A safer and easier way is to make use of the command line.


Clean Up The Files By Still Resuming The Folder Structure:

Step 1:

Open up the command prompt by typing cmd into the search bar next to the Start menu. You find it in the bottom left of your desktop. Alternatively, you can also choose it from the options provided by pressing Windows key + X .


Step 2:

Once the command prompt opens up type the following command

del /?


delete large files on windows


You can set the attributes next to del as either /D or /F or /G followed by the folder name. They are chosen depending on whether you need a prompt for confirmation before delete or deleting a folder forcefully or for deleting specific files from the directory. The explanations will be provided in the command prompt.

Eg: del /P test keeps up the structure of folder test only after prompting for confirmation the cleaning up of all files in it.


Delete The Entire Folder Including Each And Every Sub-Directories And Files:


Step 1:

Open up the command prompt as described in the previous method.


Step 2:

Type the following command

rmdir /?

where the attribute next to rmdir can either be /S or /Q depending on whether you want to delete the directory itself along with the files in the specifies directory or not.


 Safely Delete Files In Windows 10


Hope it helps.

Make sure to share this post and help the community.


Souce: Microsoft 

jingyansu choudhury

jingyansu choudhury

Hello World, I am the Founder And CEO Of Techyuga. I am working on building Techyuga to become India's No.1 end-to-end repair hub for all kinds of devices.

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