The Best Way to Clean Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

You have a PC that is starting to show signs of weakness. Everything becomes slower and you tell yourself that maybe it's time to change it. Maybe just nettoyer Windows 11 can save you!

We do not realize it, but on your computer, data accumulates here and there and is responsible for the slowdown that you can notice over the years. Doing a major cleaning can then help you.

We are not going to tell you that this saves PCs that are 20 years old. But even on recent PCs, it is better to do this cleaning on a recurring basis. We therefore offer you 7 techniques to help you do it!

1) Clean up Windows 11 by sorting through your files

Precisely, speaking of data storage, the first step that we advise you is to sort. Indeed, if you store photos for example, it quickly takes up a lot of space.

This is even more true if you ever have a camera that takes great photos. In this case, what we can advise you is to remove these photos or any other large file from your computer.

For example, if you have closed a file for work, take it out of your PC and archive it in an external storage medium. For classic folders, backing up to the cloud + a USB key should be enough.

Below the sensitive files or files that you care about, apply what we told you before. Store them on 3 different platforms so as not to risk losing them following a problem or mishandling.

2) Uninstall apps you no longer use

The next step for clean windows 11 looks like the previous one. Often, we have a lot of applications and software on our PCs and for some, we no longer use them at all and it takes up a lot of space!

We think in particular of video games which today weigh several tens of GB, or even can reach the 100 GB mark! It's huge and if you don't use them anymore, uninstall them to clean Windows 11.

Here are the steps to uninstall a program in Windows 11:

  • Press the key Windows + X to open the Start menu.
  • Click on Parameters.
  • Click on Applications then press Apps installed.
  • Select the program you want to uninstall from the list of installed apps.
  • Click on uninstall to delete the program.
  • Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the uninstallation.

3) Clean Windows 11 with Disk Cleanup Tool

Now that we've looked at the easy and accessible solutions for cleaning Windows 11, let's push a little more. Indeed, let's start by seeing how to use the disk cleanup tool.

As its name suggests, it will scan your hard drive looking for small fragments of data that it will be able to delete. Alone, they're not that big, but put together, they'll clean up Windows 11.

As for the procedure to follow to launch this tool, here it is:

  • Open the Start menu by clicking on the start icon or by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard.
  • Look for "Disc cleaning" and click on it to launch the program.
  • Select the disk on which you want to perform the cleaning (usually the C: disk).
  • Check the boxes corresponding to the files you want to delete, such as temporary files, temporary internet files, outdated program files, etc.
  • Click OK to start cleaning.

Before launching it, you can also configure this tool so that it does not delete certain elements. Once everything is good, just wait a few minutes for the software to do its job.

4) Identify and delete large files with TreeSize Free

As we have just seen, there is a fairly simple and quick way to clean Windows 11 via the hard drive. However, it is not necessarily the most efficient software in this area in particular.

So you might want to use external software to count this cleaning. Among those that exist on the market, TreeSize Free emerges as one of the most effective that you can find. It lets you see which folders and files are taking up the most space, helping you clean up your hard drive and free up space.

Here's how to use it:

  • First of all, Download and launch TreeSize Free on your computer.
  • Next, choose the disk or folder you want to scan.
  • Wait for the scan to complete, it may take a while depending on your disk size.
  • When the scan is complete, you will see a list of folders and files ordered by decreasing size.
  • Scroll through the list to find large files that take up space unnecessarily.
  • Finally, select the files you want to delete and click "Delete" to remove them from your computer.

Once done, you will have cleaned Windows 11.

5) Disable unnecessary programs when starting Windows 11

With Windows 11's built-in startup manager app, you can choose which programs start automatically when you turn on your computer.

This means you can say goodbye to programs that slow down your computer or use your system resources unnecessarily.

To do this, just follow these steps:

  • Click on the start button, then on the settings (the small gear at the top left)
  • In the left menu, click on "Applications".

  • Then, in the right section, click on "Startup".
  • Clear the checkboxes of programs that you don't want to start automatically.

6) Clean Windows 11 with CCleaner

Let's continue our momentum with another third-party software that has managed to make a name for itself for years now, CCleaner. Indeed, as its name suggests, it will also completely clean your PC.

It will take care of a lot of small files, including cookies that you accept on websites and which can quickly take up space. Again, it is extremely easy to use since it is developed for this purpose only.

7) Use PowerShell commands to clean Windows 11 junk files

Finally, the last thing we can advise you is to delete your PC update files and other unnecessary files with the command prompt.

Indeed, before applying them, the updates are stored and this can quickly take up space.

Therefore, it is possible to remove them.

For this, there is a small manipulation to do which is not very complicated. We suggest you find it in detail below:

It is recommended that you back up your data before running these commands.

First, click on the Start button, type PowerShell in the search bar and select the PowerShell app from the search results.

Then type the following commands:

To remove Windows Update files:

Dism.exe / online / Cleanup-Image / StartComponentCleanup

To delete temporary files:

Remove-Item -Recurse -Force -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue $env:TEMP\*
Remove-Item -Recurse -Force -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue $env:LOCALAPPDATA\Temp\*

To remove Windows installation files:

Get-WindowsCapability -Name "XPS.Document.Writer*" -Online | Remove-WindowsCapability -Online

Here are all our tips for cleaning Windows 11. As you have seen, the majority of these tips are quite simple to do, even if you are not a great computer person. Plus, they're all pretty fast.

If it's been a while since you've made them, it may take a little longer. But if you start clean Windows 11 frequently, it will be fast and above all, you will feel the effects!

What if you want to clean up your computer in Windows 10? Find out how to clean it effectively without additional software in our dedicated article: How to clean Windows 10 without software?