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  • Disk Cleanup: How to free up disk space

Many modern computers use SSD drives as their primary storage devices. They are fast and shock-resistant, but they have one serious drawback: their capacity is relatively limited. Even a quite powerful laptop may have an SSD drive of only 128 GB. As a result, free storage space is always scarce for SSD devices. Even for conventional hard drives, which are much larger in capacity, this still may be an issue; especially when they are installed in computers used for massive data processing tasks like heavy gaming, multimedia production, and desktop publishing.

Windows and its various programs consume a large amount of storage space for their caches, temporary data, and service files. Such files can be deleted or cleaned without harming Windows' performance. Some programs, like browsers, have special commands that clean their temporary files, cookies, history, and so on, but such commands have to be run manually every time the user closes the program. And Windows doesn't have built-in services that can do that job for the system at all.

As an example, we'll use a notebook with a freshly installed SSD device (128 GB). It has been used only for one week, mainly for internet surfing with the new Microsoft Edge browser, and for some simple office work using LibreOffice.

Cleaning up the disk using R-Wipe & Clean
It cannot be easier.

Download and install R-Wipe & Clean. You don't have to buy it immediately, as the software will work - with all of its features enabled - for 30 days without registration. If you are satisfied with its performance, you can purchase the software and register your copy. Moreover, even if you don't register it within the trial period, it will turn into R-Wipe & Clean Light; a free version that can still clean many essential items.

Run the program and click the 'Simple Disk Cleanup' button on the Traces Selection Helper bar.
The Main panel and the Simple Disk Cleanup button
Fig.1. The Main panel and the Simple Disk Cleanup button
Click image to enlarge

R-Wipe & Clean will automatically select the necessary items. You may inspect the selected items by expanding their respective sections.
The Main panel with selected items to clean
Fig.2. The Main panel with selected items to clean
Click image to enlarge

Then click the "Wipe & Clean Now" button. R-Wipe & Clean will start freeing up storage space in your computer showing its progress. Once it's complete, the report will be displayed.
The results of disk cleanup
Fig.3. The results of disk cleanup
Click image to enlarge

You will see that the data garbage that has built up for only a week is more than 1.5 GB. This is quite substantial for a disk of only 128 GB. R-Wipe & Clean has deleted the unnecessary data and freed up a substantial amount of storage space.

Items that R-Wipe & Clean deletes during simple disk cleanup
For such operation, R-Wipe & Clean automatically select those items that are typically heavy storage space consumers, or "space hogs".

The most heavy space hogs in Windows are:

  • Browser cache files are arguably the heaviest disk hogs. The cache is around 560 MB in our case.
  • Game cache files (if the user has played them). No games have been played on our computer, so no such files exist in our case.
  • Temporary files that the system creates when it runs programs. Windows stores them in the "Temp" folders. This data amounts to approximately 400 MB in our case.

Other space hogs aren't nearly as bad, but they still present issues in some scenarios:

  • Temporary files created during system upgrades. Windows may not always completely delete them after such upgrades, and they can expand to huge sizes over time. They usually build up in the "Temp" folder. In our case, this data totaled approximately 100 MB.
  • Problem reports and crash dumps created by a system component or application that may have often crashed. In our case, this amounted to 12 MB.

Although certain items might not occupy much space individually, they consume a lot when looked at collectively. In our case, these files amounted to approximately 300 MB.

  • Application cache and temporary files.
  • Some small files from browsers.
  • Files with links to user's Recent Documents.
  • Some small system caches.
  • Logs of various system components.

One more important point: Many of the above-mentioned files may contain sensitive information about your activity. R-Wipe & Clean deletes them, thus protecting your privacy. Moreover, it specifically identifies SSD devices and distinguishes them from conventional hard drives. As such, it can wipe data accordingly. You may read more about protecting your privacy, data wiping, and so on in our article "Computer Privacy and Identity Theft Protection".

Simple disk cleanup does not touch on data such as this, especially if deletion may cause problems to the user. For example, it doesn't clean various logins and passwords for Internet sites, network computers, wifi networks, and alike. Nor does it delete the data that Windows uses to speed up its operation.

Disk cleanup automation: Tasks and Scheduler
We performed disk cleanup manually. But R-Wipe & Clean allows you to combine all those actions into one single wipe and clean task, which can be manually started directly from a desktop shortcut or scheduled to start automatically at a predefined time/event - like system shutdown, for example.

Moreover, you may divide this task into several parts, each of which scheduled to a separate event. For example, R-Wipe & Clean may be scheduled to delete data generated by Microsoft Edge upon its closure or even all system files during system shutdown.

To do so, click the Simple Disk Cleanup button and clear all sections except those you want to manipulate. Then schedule them to the desired event.
Scheduled disk cleanup task
Fig.4. Scheduled disk cleanup task
Click image to enlarge

If the system disk is an SSD device, this task will not add much time to your average system shutdown. It may be quite long though when the cleanup takes place for the first time.

Already prepared tasks
Instead of creating your own tasks, you may download and import tasks that we already prepared for most common disk cleanup actions.

Select the necessary tasks from the table below, download them, and then import them into R-Wipe & Clean.

To import a downloaded task, go to the Tools menu and select Task Transfer. Then, click Import Tasks and select the tasks you want to import.
Import prescheduled tasks
Fig.5. Import prescheduled tasks
Click image to enlarge

You may edit and re-scheduled these tasks if necessary.

You can read more about task scheduling on R-Wipe & Clean help page "Using Scheduler".

For more details about R-Wipe & Clean's full capabilities, read the R-Wipe & Clean manual and R-Wipe & Clean on-line help.
Also, join the discussion about R-Wipe & Clean on the R-TT Forum.

PC Privacy Feedback
19 feedbacks
Rating: 4.6 / 5
I have bought extended coverage for R-Wipe & Clean but can`t see how to enter the new registration key in the program on my desktop
Assuming 5 is the best rating. New R-Wipe&Clean is fabulous. The new interface is very robust, easy to navigate, and a pleasure to use. Great job R-Tools!
I choose this way to quickly convey a suggestion regarding R-Wipe&Clean. ¡¡¡¡BTW I do rate it at 5 stars!!!!
R-W&C has a feature that I really could learn to appretiate while looking for ways to speed-up family and friends pc`s: the wiping of the MFT. There is a reduction of the MFT size and an a quite noticeable increase in system response time due to that. Many times I would like to ONLY do the MFT, but alas as it is a secondary option of the Unused Space option, I always loose a lot of time wiping a ...
What is the big delay on getting the great r-wipe&clean windows 8 ready you guys get the thing way before its realease so that this does not happen , what s ahame firs webroot let the great window washer slip, now you are such a shame why dont you sell the rights of the programe if your not bothered dont let a good programe die!!!
I must congratualate you upon a Excellent product. I downloaded
the the Trial product and after first use I imediately purchased it.
Two points though,
1, I cannot see how I can update R- Wipe& Clean.
2,I would like to purchase other products and I suggest discounts for
further purchases.