Clean Disk Tool

How do I use the Windows Clean Disk tool?

Setting up the Windows Clean Disk Tool

Windows has the option to run a "Clean Disk" tool called the Clean Disk Utility or Disk Cleanup tool. This clean disk tool can remove some of the known files in Windows and can improve your computer's performance.

Because the Windows Clean Disk tool doesn't clean up everything that it should, additional software tools such as WhiteCanyon's WipeDrive, are essential in order to clean disk data and protect your privacy. WipeDrive cleans disk data to improve computer performance, reclaim wasted disk space, erase past web surfing history, clean traces of personal information, and increase the reliability of your computer after reformatting.

Specifying Clean Disk Configuration Settings

Here are the steps to run the Windows Clean Disk tool and save the settings that you specify. Saving your settings is important because you can keep track of what you did last and can improve clean disk cleaning performance.

(The "Technical Tips" below are for experienced users.)

Open the Clean Disk Utility

  1. Click on the "Start" menu.
  2. Select the "Programs" sub-menu.
  3. Select the "Accessories" sub-menu.
  4. Select the "System Tools" sub-menu.
  5. Click on "Disk Cleanup" icon.

Technical Tip:
You can also access the Clean Disk Utility tool by using the command box "Run". In the Open text box, type the following command: Cleanmgr /d x: /sageset:#

In this command line, Cleanmgr is Disk Cleanup's executable file name; (x) is the letter of the drive you want to clean; /sageset is a special configuration command that tells Disk Cleanup to save the settings in the registry; and # is a unique number from 0 to 65,535 that designates a unique configuration settings file.

For example, you could create your first configuration settings file for drive C by typing Cleanmgr /d C: /sageset:1 in the Open text box.

Change the Clean Disk Settings

The Disk Cleanup menu displays a list of deletable file categories and how much space can be reclaimed in each category. Check the boxes next to the categories of files that you want to remove from your hard disk for a clean disk.

Save the Clean Disk Settings

Click OK to save the Clean Disk settings in the registry.
(The Registry is where Windows stores its core components)

Now that you have the settings saved you can access the Clean Disk Utility any time. Follow step 1 to load your personal settings.
Technical Tip:
To run Disk Cleanup using the saved settings, type: Cleanmgr /sagerun:# in the Run command box.

In this command line Cleanmgr is Disk Cleanup's executable file name, /sagerun is a special configuration command that tells Disk Cleanup to retrieve the saved settings from the registry, and # is the number you used to designate your configuration settings file.

Disk Cleanup Helps, but Isn't Enough

Windows often stores traces of your personal information, including passwords, credit card numbers, and previously deleted data and e-mail, all without you knowing it. Running the Windows Disk Cleanup tool can help, but IT experts recommend using a disk wiping tool such as WipeDrive when disposing of or repurposing old hadware.