Junk files out

How to delete temporary files on Windows 11

Is your PC running out of storage space? Windows 11 has a few ways to remove those temporary files wasting space on the main drive.

Windows 11 temporary files

On Windows 11, temporary files (or temp files) are those files that the system and apps store on the device temporarily, meaning that they are not critical to the regular operation. For example, Windows 11 has many different types of temporary files, such as those leftover files after installing a new version, upgrade logs, error reporting, temporary Windows installation files, and more.

Temp files typically do not cause any problems. However, over time, they can take up a lot of space on the hard drive, which can be why the laptop or desktop computer is running out of storage or preventing you from upgrading to a new version. If you have Windows 11, you have at least a few ways to safely remove temporary files using the Settings app and the Disk Cleanup tool.

In this guide, you will learn how to quickly delete temporary files on Windows 11 to free up space or reclaim storage after installing a feature update.

Delete temporary files using Settings on Windows 11

To delete temporary files on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click the Storage page on the right side.

  4. Under the “Local Disk” section, click the Temporary files setting.

    Open Temporary files

  5. Select the temporary files to remove from Windows 11.

  6. Click the Remove files button.

    Remove Windows 11 temp files

Once you complete the steps, junk files will be removed from your computer, freeing up space for more important files.

Delete temporary files using Storage Sense on Windows 11

To remove files wasting space automatically with Storage Sense, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click the Storage page on the right side.

  4. Under the “Storage Management” section, click the Storage Sense setting.

    Open Storage Sense

  5. Check the “Keep Windows running smoothly by automatically cleaning up temporary system and app files” option.

    Storage Sense delete temp files

  6. (Optional) Turn on the Automatic User content cleanup toggle switch.

  7. (Optional) Configure how Windows 11 should cleanup content automatically.

After you complete the steps, when space is needed, Windows 11 will automatically delete system and app temp files to help keep the computer running smoothly.

Delete temporary files using Disk Cleanup on Windows 11

You can also use the Disk Cleanup tool to delete temporary files to free up space on your computer.

To remove temporary files using Disk Cleanup, use these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer.

  2. Click on This PC from the left pane.

  3. Right-click the Windows 11 installation drive and select the Properties option.

    Open drive properties

  4. Click the Disk Cleanup button.

    Open Disk Cleanup

  5. Click the Clean up system files button.

  6. Check the items you want to delete. For example, Temporary Windows Installation Files, Windows upgrade log files, Recycle Bin, Temporary Files, and System created Windows Error Reporting.

    Select temp files to cleanup

  7. Click the OK button.

  8. Click the Delete Files button.

Once you complete the steps, temporary files will permanently be deleted from your computer, making room for new files.