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More Great Ways to Speed up Vista: Disk Cleanup Utility

written by: Dianna Monda Dill•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 5/12/2009

This Windows tutorial provides instruction on how to use the disk cleanup utility to speed up your Vista system.

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    As you install and uninstall programs, browse the Internet and download to your computer, several unneeded, obsolete, and sometimes dangerous files accumulate on your hard drive, taking up disk space and slowing down your computer. These are everything from temporary (*.tmp) Internet and computer files, off-line web pages, deleted files in your recycle bin and other unnecessary files. You can recover valuable disk space by getting rid of these files, and help speed up system performance.

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    Tip #19 Run Vista’s Disk Clean Up Utility to Delete Un-needed Files

    You can get rid of these files using Disk Cleanup, a free, built-in utility that comes with Vista. This application scans the files on your hard drive to determine and delete those that are unnecessary. This can free up potentially large amounts of hard disk space and improve disk access performance, speeding up your PC.

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    Manually Run Disk Cleanup in Vista

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    1. Click on the Start button and click on All Programs in the Start menu. Click on Accessories and then on System Tools. Click on Disk Cleanup to launch the utility. This will open the Disk Clean up Options dialog box.
    2. Specify whether you want to clean up only the files on your user account, or on all the user accounts on the computer. Click OK. Type in a password or provide confirmation if prompted.
    3. Select the particular drive that you want to clean up if the Disk Cleanup Options dialog box opens. Click on OK.
    4. Click on the Disk Clean up tab. Check each item that you intend to delete. Click OK
    5. Click Delete files and let the utility get rid of all the unnecessary files you selected.
    • Depending on the number and potential importance of the files in your Recycle Bin, it may be advisable to delete the files manually. In this case, leave this option unchecked.
    • If you have more than one hard drive partition, run the Disk Cleanup on each one.
    • You can also open the Disk Clean from the Start Search box. Type in Disk Cleanup, hit Enter and then click Disk Cleanup in the search results.

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    Automate Disk Cleanup In Vista

    Performing this maintenance task on a regular basis will boost system performance and speed up your system. You can ensure this by automating scheduled disk clean ups.

    1. Select Control Panel from the Start menu. Click on System and Maintenance and then click Administrative Tools.
    2. Double click on the Task Scheduler. Enter a password or provide confirmation if prompted.
    3. Click on the Action menu. Next, click on Create Basic Task. Enter a name for the task, as well as an optional description. Click on the Next button.
    4. Select a schedule from the options: Daily, Weekly, Monthly, One time and then click on Next. Indicate the schedule that you want to use and click Next again.
    5. Click Start a Program. Click Next and click Browse.
    6. In the File name box, type in cleanmgr.exe and then click Open.
    7. Click Next and then click Finish.