According to Microsoft, Disk Cleanup is a built-in Windows tool that allows you to free up hard drive space by safely deleting unneeded files. Running Disk Cleanup can free up hundreds of megabytes of hard drive space, almost up to a gigabyte, depending on the condition of your hard drive.
What to Delete
Press the “Start” button to run the Disk Cleanup tool according to the University of Delaware. Point to “All Programs.” Point to “Accessories.” Point to “System Tools.” Click “Disk Cleanup.” Choose the option that says “Files from all users on this computer.” Windows will ask for your permission to continue with Disk Cleanup, click “Continue.” Click “C Drive.” Click “OK.” Disk cleanup will begin by determining how much free space exists on your C drive.
This will bring up a dialog box asking you which files you want to delete. Your safest bet is to make sure only the “Downloaded Program Files,” “Temporary Internet Files,” “Recycle Bin” and “Temporary Files” boxes are checked off. These are the files that should be deleted during Disk Cleanup. Click “OK.” You will then be prompted by a dialog box asking you “Are you sure you want to permanently delete these files?” Click “Delete Files.” After Disk Cleanup is done deleting those files, it will automatically close.
How To Automate Disk Cleanup
WindowsXP.MVPS.Org explains that you can setup Disk Cleanup to run automatically. To automate the Disk Cleanup tool, open the run box by pressing “Start,” then “Run.” Type in “cleanmgr /d c: /sageset:100”, check off the items that you want Disk Cleanup to delete each time it runs, and click “OK.” Create a new shortcut on your desktop by right clicking on an empty space on your desktop and clicking “New Shortuct.” Enter “cleanmgr /sagerun:100” in the textbox.
Open “Scheduled Tasks” by clicking the “Start Menu,” pointing to “Accessories,” and then clicking “System Tools.” Double-click “Add Scheduled Task.” Click “Next.” Browse for the shortcut you created earlier, select it and press “Weekly” and press “Next.” Choose the time and day that you want Disk Cleanup to run automatically. Click “Next.” Type in your username and password. Click “Next” and then “Finish.” Disk cleanup will now run automatically each week at the time you specified.