A. Win2K introduced the Disk Cleanup Wizard, which checks a specified volume and estimates the amount of disk space you might be able to recover and use. The wizard can identify space savings in several areas, including

  • program files that you've downloaded and installed
  • temporary Internet files
  • temporary files
  • temporary offline files (Win2K only)
  • offline files (Win2K only)
  • Recycle Bin content
  • offline Web pages (Windows XP only)
  • setup log files (XP only)
  • compressed files that you haven't accessed recently
  • catalog files for the content indexer that the OS used during a previous indexing operation

To run the Disk Cleanup Wizard, perform the following steps:

  1. Start Disk Cleanup (go to Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and click Disk Cleanup).
  2. Select the name from the displayed list of the disk volume that you want to check for available free space, then click OK.
  3. The wizard displays the status as it checks the various elements (the wizard spends most of its time checking for files that it can compress).
  4. After the analysis is complete, the wizard presents a summary with options you can select for freeing up space. Select the options you want to use and clear those options you don't want to use.
    Click here to view image
  5. Under the More Options tab, you can take additional steps to free disk space, such as removing installed programs and Windows components as well as deleting all but the most recent system restore point. After you've made your selections, click OK.
  6. Click Yes to the action confirmation.

Depending on the volume you select, the wizard will display different elements. For example, a non-boot partition or volume will exhibit options related to the Recycle Bin, compressed files that you haven't accessed recently, and the content-indexer intermediary catalog files. After you click Yes on the action confirmation, a dialog box will appear that displays the progress of the disk cleanup. The wizard will exit after it finishes the cleanup.