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Article ID: 310312 - Last Review: May 22, 2013 - Revision: 2.0

This article was previously published under Q310312

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Summary

This article describes how to use the Disk Cleanup tool in Windows XP.

More information

The Disk Cleanup tool helps you free up space on your hard disk by searching your disk for files that you can safely delete. You can choose to delete some or all of the files. Use Disk Cleanup to perform any of the following tasks to free up space on your hard disk:
  • Remove temporary Internet files.
  • Remove downloaded program files. For example, ActiveX controls and Java applets that are downloaded from the Internet.
  • Empty the Recycle Bin.
  • Remove Windows temporary files.
  • Remove optional Windows components that you are not using.
  • Remove installed programs that you no longer use.
You can start Disk Cleanup, by doing any of the following:
  • Click Start, and then click Run. In the Open box, type cleanmgr, and then click OK.

    -or-
  • Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Disk Cleanup.

    -or-
  • In Windows Explorer or My Computer, right-click the disk in which you want to free up space, click Properties, click the General tab, and then click Disk Cleanup.

Remove Files Stored on Your Hard Disk

To remove files stored on your hard disk that you no longer use, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click My Computer.
  2. Right-click the disk in which you want to free up space, and then click Properties.
  3. Click the General tab, and then click Disk Cleanup.
  4. Click the Disk Cleanup tab (if it is not already selected), click to select the check boxes next to the files that you want to remove, and then click OK.
  5. Click Yes to the proceed with this action, and then click OK.

Remove Windows Components

To remove Windows components that you are not using, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click My Computer.
  2. Right-click the disk in which you want to free up space, and then click Properties.
  3. Click the General tab, and then click Disk Cleanup.
  4. Click the More Options tab, and then under Windows components, click Clean up.

    The Windows Components Wizard starts.
  5. In the Components list, click to clear the check box next to the component(s) that you want to remove.
    • A shaded check box next to a component indicates that only some of its subcomponents are installed.

      If you want to remove a subcomponent, click Details, click to clear the check box next to the subcomponent(s) that you want to remove, and then click OK.
  6. Click Next.
  7. In the Completing the Windows Components Wizard page, click Finish.
  8. Click OK, click Yes to proceed with this action, and then click OK.

Remove Installed Programs

To remove programs that you no longer use, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click My Computer.
  2. Right-click the disk in which you want to free up space, and then click Properties.
  3. Click the General tab, and then click Disk Cleanup.
  4. Click the More Options tab, and then under Installed programs, click Clean up.

    The Add or Remove Programs dialog box is displayed.
  5. In the Currently installed programs list, click the program that you want to remove, and then click Remove (or Change/Remove).
  6. If you receive a prompt to confirm the removal of the program, click Yes.
  7. Repeat step 5 and 6 to remove other programs that you no longer use, and then click Close.
  8. Click OK, click Yes to proceed with this action, and then click OK.

Remove Restore Points

To remove all restore points except the most recent restore point, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click My Computer.
  2. Right-click the disk in which you want to free up space, and then click Properties.
  3. Click the General tab, and then click Disk Cleanup.
  4. Click the More Options tab, and then under System Restore, click Clean up.
  5. Click Yes to remove all but the most recent restore point.
  6. Click OK, click Yes to proceed with this action, and then click OK.

References

For additional information about how to remove Windows components and programs in Windows XP, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
307894  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307894/EN-US/ ) HOW TO: Add or Remove a Windows Component in Windows XP
307895  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307895/EN-US/ ) HOW TO: Change or Remove a Program on a Windows XP-based Computer
For additional information low disk-space notification in Windows XP, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
285107  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/285107/EN-US/ ) Description of the Low Disk Space Notification in Windows XP
For additional information how System Restore handles disk space usage, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
300044  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/300044/EN-US/ ) How the System Restore Tool Handles Hard-Disk Space Usage

Applies to
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Keywords: 
kbinfo KB310312
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