How To

How to Run and Use Disk Cleanup in Windows 11

Using the Windows search option is the easiest way to access the disk cleanup utility


The Windows 11 disk cleanup utility, which comes preinstalled on your device, is essential to keep your device running properly. This tool frees up hard drive space and can delete temporary files, old system files, and other things frequently used in the background.

If you fail to free up storage space using this program regularly, you might encounter problems such as the inability to install new programs because of insufficient space, or your device will start operating slowly. This guide will provide various methods of using and running the disk cleanup tool.

1. Launch disk cleanup using the Run utility

The run command is a powerful built-in function in the Windows operating system. You can use this utility to retrieve the text command of the program you’re looking for if you know it. Follow the instructions below to obtain the Disk Clean-up program via Run.

  1. Hold the Windows + R keys together to bring up the Run dialogue.
  2. Type cleanmgr in the text field and press Enter.
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  3. Doing this will launch the disk cleanup utility on your computer.

2. Access disk cleanup via the start menu

The Start menu is a graphical user interface element that has been part of Microsoft Windows and provides a central location for accessing installed programs, files, and settings. It is typically located in the lower-left corner of the Windows desktop.

  1. Click the Windows button on your keyboard.
  2. Select All Apps at the top right corner of your screen.
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  3. Scroll down, look for Windows Tools, and click on it.
  4. Look for the Disk Clean-up utility and click on it to open.

3. Use the Windows search option

Windows Search is a feature that allows you to search for files, apps, settings, and other items on your computer. It is located in the taskbar and can be opened by clicking on the search icon. It is the easiest way to access the disk cleanup utility, so if you feel like you are not a technical person, this option is for you.

  1. Press Windows + S simultaneously to bring up the Search bar.
  2. In the search bar, input Disk Cleanup.
  3. Click the Disk Cleanup option to open the program. If you would also like to clear system files, select Run as administrator.
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4. Open disk cleanup from the control panel

In Microsoft Windows, the Control Panel is a central location where you may modify your system settings. It also contains all the system apps installed on your Windows 11 PC. You may open any software by going to the Control Panel and selecting Windows Tools. Here’s how to correctly use the Control Panel to access Disk Cleanup.

  1. Hold the Windows + S keys simultaneously to open the Search bar, type the control panel in the text field, and click Open.
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  2. In the Control Panel window, choose the Windows Tools option.
  3. When you see the Disk Cleanup option, double-click on it to open.

5. Create a disk cleanup desktop shortcut

If using the disk cleanup tool frequently occurs, creating a desktop shortcut will be your best bet. Doing this will save you the trouble of going through long processes to open the utility. See the steps below to learn how to create a desktop shortcut.

  1. Right-click on an empty area on your desktop.
  2. Click New, and select Shortcut.
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  3. In the Type the location of the item section, input %windir%\system32\cleanmgr.exe, then click Next.
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  4. In the next window, set the name of the new shortcut as Disk Cleanup then click Finish.
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  5. After doing this, you should have your shortcut on your desktop and you can easily access disk cleanup whenever you need it.

6. Create a hotkey to launch disk cleanup

A hotkey, a keyboard shortcut used to carry out a particular function, can be created to help you easily run the disk cleanup tool. See the steps below to do this.

  1. Right-click on the disk cleanup shortcut and choose Properties.
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  2. Navigate to the Shortcut Key tab and choose any key to set it as a hotkey. In this example, we used Ctrl + Alt + D as the hotkey.
  3. Click Apply and OK to complete the process.
  4. If you also made use of Ctrl + Alt + D as your hotkey, press it to open disk cleanup. If you used another key, type it.

7. Use the terminal to open disk cleanup

The Windows terminal is a command-line interface that allows you to interact with your computer using text commands, and it can also help you easily gain access to the disk cleanup utility.

  1. Right-click on the Start button, and choose Windows Terminal (Admin).
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  2. Click the downward-facing arrow in the terminal window and select Command Prompt.
  3. Paste the command below in the command prompt and hit Enter.
  4. Doing this will launch the disk cleanup utility.

8. Run disk cleanup with Task Manager

The Task Manager is a powerful tool that provides you with access to all the system tools present on your device, and with this utility, you can easily run the disk cleanup program using the steps listed below.

  1. Press Ctrl + Alt + Del to open the Task Manager.
  2. Next, navigate to the File tab.
  3. Now, from the drop-down menu, choose Run new task.
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  4. In the next window, type cleanmgr in the text field and hit Enter.
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  5. Finally, click OK to launch the program.


1. Is it good to run Disk Cleanup?

Most of the file categories appearing in Disk Cleanup are completely safe to delete. However, it is not suggested that you delete the Windows ESD installation files if the choice appears because these are required to reset the OS.

2. Where is Disk Cleanup in Windows 11?

Simply type disk cleanup into the taskbar’s search box, and the software will immediately appear.

3. Does Windows 11 have a built-in cleaner

Yes, Windows 11 comes with an inbuilt cleaner called Disk Cleanup. This tool helps to locate and remove unnecessary files from your system. It also automatically checks for garbage files and assists you in removing them.

Bottom line

This article has effectively provided various ways to open and run the disk cleanup tool. These steps have also been simplified so that even a non-technical person can easily follow and use this powerful program.

Finally, if you would like to know all the possible ways to delete junk files on your system, check out the linked guide, where we have outlined all the possible ways this can be done.

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David Ogbor
David is a tech guru with extensive knowledge in technical articles. He is passionate about writing and presents technical articles in an easy-to-understand format for easy comprehension. He aims to present easy solutions for day-to-day problems encountered while using PC. In his spare time, he likes traveling, playing sports, and singing.