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Use Windows 11 Cleanup Recommendations to Clean System Drive

This article will show you how to free space on drive C in Windows 11 using the Cleanup recommendations feature. In Windows 11, Microsoft introduced a new "Cleanup recommendations" feature that pulls the information about unused, safe-to-remove files and apps. It can relatively quickly show you how much space you can reclaim by cleaning the system drive.

Cleanup recommendations show four categories of files and folders to remove: temporary files, large unused files, files synced to the cloud, and unused apps.

Temporary files include previous Windows installation, unused downloads, and Recycle Bin. Note that removing previous Windows installations prevents you from rolling back to previous builds or Windows versions.

Large unused files are non-system-related "heavy objects" you have never used.

Files synced to the cloud are files and folders synced to OneDrive with a local copy on your drive. Removing those files from your computer does not remove them from the cloud. Note that you will have to download those files again when you need them.

Finally, there are unused apps that do not require any explanation. Those are just apps you never use or used long ago.

Important: Before cleaning up the system drive in Windows 11, make sure you have backups of all the important data. Also, read categories descriptions carefully to avoid removing the files you need.

How to Clean Drive with Windows 11 Cleanup Recommendations

  1. Open Windows Settings in Windows 11 by pressing the Win + I shortcut.
  2. Go to System > Storage.
  3. Wait for Windows to scan your drive and determine what files and folders are safe to remove. The exact waiting time will depend on how many disks you have and how much free space is available.
  4. Next, click the Cleanup Recommendations notice that it shows the approximate free space you can reclaim by cleaning up the system drive.
  5. On the next screen, Windows will show you a list of all different categories: temporary files, large unused files, files synced to the cloud, and unused apps. Click on each category and place a checkmark next to the things you want to remove.
  6. Click Temporary Files, then select See Advanced Options.
  7. There, you can choose even more files to purge, such as Windows Update files, thumbnails, temporary Internet files, etc. Check each type you want to remove.
  8. Go back to Cleanup Recommendation and click Clean up <size>.
  9. Click Continue to confirm the disk cleanup operation.
  10. Wait for Windows to complete the process.

That is how you clean the system drive in Windows 11 using cleanup recommendations.

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