Gadgets

How Do I Get Rid of Junk Files on My Laptop?

Laptop Files

Your computer creates junk files when you download files, install apps, run updates, browse the internet, etc. Junk files have several demerits, especially when they accumulate. Since you can’t avoid having junk files, you must get rid of them regularly before they pile up and affect your laptop’s performance.

Quick Answer

You can get rid of junk files on your laptop by locating them and deleting them manually on the computer and in the recycle bin. You may also employ a faster way of deleting junk files by using the disk cleanup tool on Windows to remove the temporary and unwanted files. Alternatively, you may download and install a third-party cleanup tool.

An important process of getting rid of junk files on your laptop is to know what you are looking for and how to locate them. We will explain what junk files are and take you through the benefits of removing junk files from your computer. Finally, we will outline the steps to follow to get rid of junk files.

What Are Junk Files?

When you run a program or task, your computer creates temporary files to help with those tasks. The temporary files may be thumbnails for pictures, cookies and cache data during web browsing, or temp folders when running programs. 

These temporary files are useful for a limited period before they become unwanted. Once the temporary files become unwanted, they are referred to as junk files.

Once the temporary files become unwanted, the best thing is to delete them manually, so they don’t pile up and negatively affect the system’s performance. Junk files include random executables (.exe for Windows and .app for Mac) for installing software, deleted files in the recycle bin, browser cache and cookies for web browsers, thumbnail cache for images, etc.

Why You Should Get Rid of Junk Files on Your Laptop

It seems like a no-brainer that you must get rid of junk files on your laptop every time you see them. However, junk files once had their purpose, albeit temporary. 

While most of them affect system performance negatively, some junk files like thumbnails, web browser cookies, and browser cache contain useful information that can help you save your data and guarantee better browsing performance. Despite having a few merits, deleting junk files is recommended for the following reasons.

To Keep Your Files Organized and Easier To Navigate

Just like sorting your clothes after mixing your dirty laundry with neat clothes, having junk files on your laptop makes your files disorganized. It also makes it harder to navigate your laptop and find important files. 

You must remove unwanted files from your laptop as soon as they outlive their purpose before they pile up and form clutter, making it harder for you to sort through the files.

To Free Up Space

Junk files might not be the greatest threat to your storage space, but they tend to accumulate if left unchecked. Once they pile up, the amount of storage space they hog becomes significant enough to affect the system’s performance. Getting rid of junk files regularly frees up precious storage space for the more important files.

To Speed Up Your Computer

When your computer is filled with junk files, it devotes its resources to unimportant tasks. A cluster of unwanted files on your laptop leaves little space for other tasks. It is known that having a low disk space causes your computer to slow down. Getting rid of junk files speeds up your computer.

To Prevent Malware

Sometimes, viruses hide in dormant places on your computer. Leaving junk files to pile up is unwise because it exposes you to malware. A virus can attach itself to the files considered junk and spread until it takes over your system. A regularly scheduled clearance of junk files should help you eliminate them.

How To Get Rid of Junk Files on Your Laptop

You can get rid of junk files in the following ways.

Locate Junk Files and Delete Them Manually

The hard part is locating the junk files on your system. Once you do that, deleting them is easy. After deleting them from your computer, all the files go to the recycle bin. You must go to the recycle bin and empty it to ensure that the files are deleted permanently.

  1. Open Settings and click “System”.
  2. Select “Storage”.
  3. Open “Temporary Files”. This shows all the files considered temporary, including the junk files.
  4. Check the boxes beside the files you want to delete.
  5. Click “Remove files”.
  6. Go to Recycle bin.
  7. Select the files you want to delete permanently or press Ctrl + A to select all files.
  8. Right-click on the file you want to delete and select “Delete”.

Use the Disk Cleanup Tool

This tool is available on Windows computers for removing unwanted files. Follow the steps below to use the disk cleanup tool.

  1. Type “Disk Cleanup” in your Windows computer search bar. 
  2. Click Enter to search.
  3. Select the drive you want to clean up and choose “OK”. The tool shows the junk files in the drive and calculates how much space you can free up by deleting those files.
  4. Select the junk files you want to delete by checking the box. You can also click “View Files” to view your selected junk files.
  5. Click “OK” to remove the junk files, and select “Delete Files” to confirm your choice.

Conclusion

Getting rid of junk files hugely benefits your computer due to increased storage space, faster performance, less chance of malware, etc. We recommend that you do it regularly whether  

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