What files and folders can I delete from my computer?

There are so many random files and folders on my Local Disk (C:)
I can't tell what is important for running my computer and what is stuff that isn't important at all.
I don't want to run a program to do it for me because I don't want it to delete something that I would've like to have kept.
Anyone wanna help me clean out my computer?

(I have a very small knowledge of computers so bear with me)


Extraordinary Member
I can’t tell you which specific program-related files can be removed, but here is my on-going list of things to do to reclaim disk space. Most of them are straightforward but if you feel apprehensive or unsure about running something, just ignore it. Here they are:

1. It may sound strange to install a program when you’re trying to save disk space, but download WinDirStat, which shows where disk space is being used, including a nice graphical display. Just let the mouse pointer hover over the coloured areas to identify different file types and large ‘chunks’ of used space. Download it here http://windirstat.info/ Uninstall the program after you’ve finished with it.

2. Reduce the amount of space used by system restore by pressing the Windows Logo key+X (or right-click or press and hold off the bottom left corner) and choosing System > System Protection (in the left pane) > System Protection Tab > Configure and change the disk space allocation. Also, if you have a separate hard drive, more space can be released by moving the pagefile to it.

3. Delete any temporary files that may be left over from CD and DVD burning. Navigate to the hidden folder C:\Users\[Your User Name]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Burn\Temporary Burn Folder and delete all the files.

4. Remove any programs that are no longer used, via the Windows Logo key+X (or right-click or press and hold off the bottom left corner) and choose Programs and Features. You may also want to turn some Windows features off (in the left pane).

5. Open Computer (This PC) > Double-click or double-tap the 'C' drive > Manage > Cleanup > Cleanup system files (at the bottom). After the system checks for files that can be removed, tick any other files you want to cleanup and press OK > Delete files.

6. Now cleanup two other folders by opening a Run window (Windows Logo key+R), type temp and press Enter. Delete everything that appears (there may be a few files that cannot be deleted, just skip them). Repeat the command for the other folder using %temp% in place of temp.

7. If you don't use Hibernation you can save almost the equivalent in hard drive space as the amount of RAM that is installed by turning it off. In a Run window (Windows Logo key+R), type powercfg.exe -h off (note the two spaces) and press Enter. To turn it back on type powercfg.exe -h on and press Enter.

8. Reduce the space used by the Recycle Bin by right-click or press and holding the Bin, clicking Properties > Custom Size and amend as necessary.

9. Remove any other files that you may have overlooked in the past, e.g. old videos, also look in the Downloads folder for unwanted items.


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor

Start by downloading and running CCleaner.
It's safe it won't delete anything important but I will get rid of all the junk.
I'm pretty sure that everyone here uses it regularly.


If you are short of space you might want to consider getting an external USB hard drive and move some of you stuff to there.
Something like this..


If you can post an image of your expanded C:\ drive using the Snipping Tool, as it appears in Windows Explorer someone might be able to tell you if you have stuff you don't need.

Look through your installed software and see if there are programs that you never use, maybe things installed by the manufacturer.
You can remove them using the Add Remove Programs utility.



Extraordinary Member
I have found it better to leave residual entries behind than to lose a file necessary for the performance of Windows. I used to use just the Windows part of Ccleaner and Revo but now and then I had issues. Since abandoning any registry cleaning I have had no problems like something not functioning for an unknown reason, and have not sacrificed speed.


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor

The only registry checking tool is CCleaner.
It's not a powerful cleaner but it does find residual entries left over after an uninstall.

Example, I downloaded an update for Chrome yesterday, even though I was very careful I ended up with some malware called Super PC Cleaner, I tried to uninstall it but it in spite of the fact that the the uninstall seemed to complete, it was still there when I got done.

I ran Malwarebytes and it was still there.

So I looked at Properties, found where is was installed and deleted the parent folder.
I then ran CCleaner registry checker which found a half page of related registry entries.

Now it's gone, and the registry is clean again.
I always run CCleaner registry checker after uninstalling anything and it almost always finds left over entries.

I look to see what they are and then delete them and I've never had an issue because of it.
I do always opt to backup the registry when it asks but I've never had to use the restore feature.



Extraordinary Member
I think, Mike, that you are more skilled than I am as I have tried Ccleaner and other cleaners like Revo which is a cleaner in the respect that it removes programs and associated files. Both are highly regarded.
I was always having to image.
Since I don't clean at all, I never image and my pc is knee jerk fast.
I guess if one can maneuver the registry it is good to use but for the somewhat average guy like me it is not a good idea.
I would like to Refresh Win 8.1 but from what I hear, it is broken and I don't want to chance it.

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