Clean Up and Defragment Your Hard Drive (Windows)
Your Windows computer will perform more efficiently if you periodically remove unnecessary files from your hard disk and consolidate disk space.
You can use Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragmenter to perform these maintenance tasks.
The Disk Cleanup utility helps you free up space on your hard disk by finding files you can safely delete. You can decide which of the files you want to delete.
Each version of the Windows operating system requires a slightly different method to use the Disk Cleanup utility. For correct instructions, select the version you are running: Windows XP | Windows Vista | Windows 7 | Windows 8 | Windows 10
The Disk Defragmenter utility consolidates files so they occupy space more efficiently. The end result is that files are accessed faster, improving your computer's overall performance.
"Defragmenting" can take an hour or more, so it's best to do this when you don't need access to your computer, for example during the wee hours of the morning.
- Click Start, click All Programs, then click Accessories, then System Tools, and then Disk Defragmenter.
- Select the hard drive to be defragmented (usually Drive C).
- Click the Defragment or Defragment disk button. If a User Account Control message appears, click Yes.
- (Optional) Repeat Step 1, and then carry out Steps 2 and 3 for other hard disks that appear in the list.