If you want to reduce the number of unnecessary files on your hard disk to free up disk space and help your computer run faster, use Disk Cleanup. It removes temporary files, empties the Recycle Bin, and removes a variety of system files and other items that you no longer need.

  1. Open Disk Cleanup by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, clicking System Tools, and then clicking Disk Cleanup.

  2. In the Disk Cleanup Options dialog box, choose whether you want to clean up your own files only or all of the files on the computer. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  3. If the Disk Cleanup: Drive Selection dialog box appears, select the hard disk drive that you want to clean up, and then click OK.

  4. Click the Disk Cleanup tab, and then select the check boxes for the files you want to delete.

  5. When you finish selecting the files you want to delete, click OK, and then click Delete files to confirm the operation. Disk Cleanup proceeds to remove all unnecessary files from your computer.

The More Options tab is available when you choose to clean files from all users on the computer. This tab includes two additional ways to free even more disk space:

  • Programs and Features. Opens Programs and Features in Control Panel, where you can uninstall programs that you no longer use. The Size column in Programs and Features shows how much disk space each program uses.

  • System Restore and Shadow Copies. Prompts you to delete all but the most recent restore point on the disk.

    System Restore uses restore points to return your system files to an earlier point in time. If your computer is running normally, you can save disk space by deleting the earlier restore points.

    In some editions of Windows Vista, restore points can include previous versions of files, known as shadow copies, and backup images created with Windows Complete PC Backup. This information will also be deleted. For more information about System Restore, search Windows Help and Support for "system restore."