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How to Clean System Junk Files/Temporary Files

Contents1 What are Junk Files in Windows2 Types of

What are Junk Files in Windows

Junk files in Windows are temporary files that serve specific purposes during a computer’s operation. When you open a document, view an image, or browse the internet, these files are created to facilitate those tasks. However, once their purpose is fulfilled, they become digital clutter—system junk files that accumulate over time.

These files include remnants from software installations, updates, and other activities. keep your hard drive free from unnecessary files to ensure a smoother computing experience.

Types of Junk Files in Windows

Let’s break down the various types of junk files that can accumulate on your Windows PC and how they impact your system:

Temporary Files:

Apps and the operating system generate these files during regular usage. Although they are usually automatically deleted upon restarting your computer, sometimes they persist. To keep your PC clutter-free, it’s essential to clean these temporary files manually.

Temporary Internet Files (Browser Cache):

Your web browser creates these files to speed up webpage loading. They store elements like images, scripts, and stylesheets from websites you visit. Clearing your browser cache periodically ensures optimal performance.

Application Leftovers:

When you uninstall software, certain files associated with the application may remain. These leftover files serve no purpose and can accumulate over time. Deleting them helps maintain a clean system.

Recycle Bin Files:

Deleted files are moved to Recycle Bin, providing a safety net. You have the chance to restore deleted data from here. However, emptying the Recycle Bin periodically frees up storage space.


Thumbnails are small versions of images and videos. They help load previews quickly when browsing files. While deleting them may slightly increase load times, it’s worth doing for a tidier system.

Windows Upgrade Log Files:

During Windows updates, the system generates log files to track activities. These files aid in troubleshooting any issues. If your Windows functions well after an upgrade, feel free to delete these logs.

How to Clean Junk Files or Temporary Files in Windows

Learn the most effective methods for clearing temporary files from Windows:

Method 1: Empty Recycle Bin

  • Open Recycle Bin icon.
  • Before emptying the Recycle Bin, cross-check all the files listed.
  • Once you empty it, you won’t be able to restore files from here manually.
  • Choose the files and folders you want to clear.
  • Highlight them and press the Delete button.
  • Confirm that you want to delete the selected files permanently.

Remember, emptying the Recycle Bin helps keep your system organized and frees up valuable storage space

Method 2: Use of Clean Functionality

If you’re a Windows 11 user, Cleanup recommendations offer a easy way to deal with junk files and helps in gain storage space.

  • Press Windows + I to access the Windows settings.
  • Double-click on System.
  • Then select Storage and click on Cleanup recommendations.
  • Let the scan run so it will identify temporary, large, and unused files.
  • These are the culprits hogging your storage space.
  • Review the files listed and select the ones you want to delete.
  • Click Clean up to remove them permanently.
  • Explore the space occupied by Apps & features and other programs.
  • Enable the option to Keep Windows running smoothly by automatically cleaning up temporary system and app files.
  • Activate Storage Sense under Automatic User Content Cleanup.

Method 3: Run Disk Cleanup

Unwanted files remain after installing an app and serve no purpose. They merely occupy valuable space on your hard disk drive. There is a built-in tool in Windows to remove these unnecessary files which is called Disk Cleanup.

  1. Type and select Disk Cleanup in the search box.
  2. Select the drive you want to clean up (usually C:).
  3. Select OK.
  1. Select the checkbox next to the types of files which you want to delete. By default, Downloaded Program Files, Temporary Internet Files, and Thumbnails will be  selected. Clear those checkboxes if you wish to retain those files.

Method 4: Remove Junk Files with File Explorer

To quickly delete temporary files on your Windows system, follow these steps:

  • Press Windows + R together to open the Run dialog.
  • Type %temp% and press Enter.
  • This action will open a folder containing temporary files.
  • Press Ctrl + A keys to select all the files in the folder.
  • Once everything is selected, press the Delete key.
  • Confirm the action, and you’ve cleared out those unnecessary temporary files.

What are Junk Files on MAC

System junk files on macOS can consume gigabytes of valuable storage space. These files are generated as a routine part of macOS operation and app usage. They get stored over time and then start slowing down the speed and overall performance.

Types of Junk Files in MAC

Let’s break down the various types of junk files that can accumulate on your macOS system and how they impact your performance:

System Cache:

These are temporary files that macOS generates to maintain proper performance. They help your system run smoothly by storing frequently accessed data.

User Cache:

Similar to system cache, these files are created by the apps you use. They enhance the startup speed of applications and improve overall user experience.

Browser Cache:

Web browsers generate these files to speed up webpage loading. They store elements like images, scripts, and stylesheets from visited websites.

System Log Files:

These files record the activity of macOS and system applications. They are important for debugging purposes and troubleshooting issues.

Localization Files:

These files are also known as language files. They allow you to change the language of macOS and app interfaces. Essential for multilingual users.

App Leftovers:

When apps are uninstalled improperly or incorrectly, remnants remain. These leftovers clutter your system and should be removed.

Unused Disk Images (.DMGs):

These are app installers you may have downloaded but left unused. Clear them out to free up space.

Xcode Junk:

Xcode leaves behind project index and build information. Deleting this unnecessary data helps keep your system tidy.

How to Clean Junk Files/Temporary Files in MAC

Allow us to demonstrate the simple method for permanently removing unwanted clutter from your Mac using CleanMyMac X. This cleaning solution offers several modules designed to enhance your Mac’s performance. It optimizes your system, remove malware, and uninstall applications. This tool safely eliminates unnecessary system junk files, even those hidden in hard-to-reach corners of your Mac.

  • Download CleanMyMac X from their official website.
  • Install the app by opening the . DMG package and drag CleanMyMac X to your Applications folder.
  • Click on the app icon to open it.
  • Click the Scan button. The app will chech your system and identify unnecessary files, potential threats, and ways to improve system performance. The scan typically takes just a few minutes.
  • Go to the Cleanup tab.
  • Review the scan results to see what can be removed.
  • Specifically, look for items like User Cache Files, System Cache Files, Language Files, and other unnecessary files.
  • Select the checkboxes next to the items you want to delete.
  • Click Clean to remove them safely.

With these steps, your Mac will be back to its normal condition. CleanMyMac X efficiently deletes junk files which includes user cache, system logs, downloads, and Xcode junk files.

How to Clean Junk Files Manually in MAC

By following these steps, you can efficiently clear cache files and free up valuable space:

System Cache Files:

These files, which are generated by macOS, typically don’t occupy much space. However, cleaning them is beneficial as they can impact system responsiveness.

Note: Be cautious when removing system cache files to avoid deleting essential files.

Follow these steps to clean system cache files on your Mac:

  • Open Finder.
  • Press Command+Shift+G.
  • Enter the path: /Library/Caches and press Enter.
  • You’ll see your cache files in the window that appears on the screen.
  • Go through each folder and remove only what’s inside.

User Cache Files (App Cache):

App cache files may consume significant space, so it’s advisable to remove them.

Apps generate new cache files as needed. To get rid of user cache:

  • Open Finder again.
  • Press Command-Shift-G.
  • Type the path: ~/Library/Caches (note the ~) and hit Return.
  • Similar to the system cache, go through the folders and delete their contents.

Browser Cache:

Clearing browser caches serves two purposes: It enhances privacy by removing your digital trail and frees up Mac space.

Here’s how to do it for well-known browsers:

  1. Safari:
  • Go to Safari > Settings > Advanced.
  • Select the Show Develop menu in the menu bar.
  • Go to Develop > Empty Caches.
  1. Google Chrome:
  • Click on the three-dot icon in the top-right corner.
  • Go to More Tools> Clear browsing data.
  • Choose a time range and check the box for Cached images and files.
  • Click Clear data.
  1. Firefox:
  • Open the application menu by clicking the three horizontal lines in the top-right corner.
  • Select History> Clear Recent History.
  • Check the box for Cache and hit OK.

Remove User Log Files:

When your app crashes, you’re often asked to submit a bug report. These reports include user logs, which focus on app-level functionality rather than user activity.

To delete user log files:

  • Open Finder.
  • Press Command+Shift+G.
  • Enter the path ~/Library/Logs and hit Return.
  • You’ll see all the user log files. Manually move them to the Trash.
  • For a thorough cleanup, select all user log files and delete them.

Delete System Log Files:

System log files are plain text files and usually don’t consume much Storage. However, when you’re low on free space, even small files matter. To safely clean system log files:

  • Open the Finder.
  • From the Go menu, Choose Go to Folder.
  • Type /var/log in the field and press Return.
  • You’ll see all the system log files.
  • Select the files you want to remove and drag them to the Trash.

Additionally, check /Library/Logs for system application logs that aren’t important to keep. You can find system reports In the /Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports folder. Safely delete unnecessary files to clean Mac.

Remove Localization Files:

  • Open Finder and go to the Applications folder.
  • Right-click on any application icon and select Show Package Contents.
  • Locate the Resources folder within the package.
  • All subfolders ending with “lproj” are language files. Each folder contains localization information for a specific language. For instance, the folder named en. lproj comprises English language files.
  • Select the language folders you no longer need and move them to the Trash.
  • Don’t forget to empty the Trash once you’ve removed these unnecessary language files.

Delete App Leftovers:

Many Mac users delete apps by sending them to the Trash. However, even after emptying the Trash, remains of uninstalled applications may still need to be deleted. To thoroughly clean up your system, follow these steps:

  • Open Finder and go to Go > Go to Library.
  • Paste the following paths one by one:
  • ~/Library/Application Support
  • /Library/Caches/
  • ~/Library/Caches
  • ~/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/
  • ~/Library/
  • ~/Library/Preferences/
  • ~/Library/Application Support/CrashReporter/
  • ~/Library/Saved Application State/

Check the folders and files containing the names of apps you uninstalled long ago and send them to the Trash. Alternatively, you can use the Uninstaller module in CleanMyMac X along with its Leftovers tool.

Delete Unused .DMGs (Disk Images):

.DMGs (app installers) consume valuable space on your Mac. Follow these steps to remove them:

  • Go to your desktop and press Command + F.
  • Choose “This Mac” and click the “+” button on the right of the window.
  • In the dropdown menu, select File extension from the list.
  • Type in “dmg” and review the results.
  • Delete the disk image of any app you’ve already installed.

Remove Large and Old Files Manually:

Check your Documents or Downloads folder. Within either folder, choose View > Sort by Size or Sort by Date Last Opened. Review your files and send to the Trash those that you no longer need. Follow these steps:

  • Open CleanMyMac X from the Applications folder.
  • Go to Large & Old Files in the sidebar.
  • Choose the location you want to scan (e.g., hard drive, external drive, or a specific folder).
  • Click Scan.
  • After the scan is complete, review the summary and select the cleanup option that suits you best (either Remove or Move).

Removing Xcode Junk:

If you use Xcode, it can accumulate Cache and junk files over time, impacting your Mac’s performance. Here are the paths where Xcode-related files reside:

  •  ~/Library/Developer/Xcode/DerivedData
  • ~/Library/Developer/Xcode/Archives
  • ~/Library/Developer/Xcode/iOS DeviceSupport
  •  ~/Library/Developer/CoreSimulator
  •  ~/Library/Caches/
  •  ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup.

By : June 25, 2024
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