How to clear cache and improve performance on Windows 10: step-by-step guide

Windows 10 reached monthly active devices of 1 billion in March last year. More than five years after its launch, Microsoft managed to turn Windows 10 into the most popular version of its desktop operating system. While there are still millions using older versions of Windows, Microsoft’s decision to release multiple updates for Windows 10 seems to have worked for the company.

Also Read: How to turn off the password feature on Windows 10

If you use Windows 10 then you would have noticed incremental updates and fixes. However, Windows 10 is Windows at heart and it does suffer from issues inherent to Microsoft’s desktop computing platform. One such problem is temporary files that take memory and eventually can slow down your computer.

Before we get to how to clear temporary files, it is important to know that these temporary files help the operating system to perform its function. However, when these temporary files get corrupted or no longer in use, they can significantly impact the performance of your computer.

Whenever you are running low on storage or see unusual behaviour, you must know it’s time to clear the cache. There are two types of cache files that you need to clear for the PC function to nominally. First is temporary files and second is file explorer history. Here is how.

Table of Contents

How to clear Windows 10 temporary files

  1. Click on the search bar on the Start menu and type “Disk Cleanup”.Windows 10 Disk Cleanup
  2. Click on Disk Cleanup when it appears in the search result.
  3. In the next window, you will be required to select the drive for disk cleanup. Choose “C:” and click on Ok.Windows 10 Disk Cleanup
  4. Now, make sure that the checkbox next to “Temporary files” is selected. Depending on what you need to delete, select other kinds of files.Windows 10 Disk Cleanup
  5. Now, click on Ok.
  6. A prompt will appear with two options. Click on “Delete Files” and this will clear all your temporary cache files.Windows 10 Disk Cleanup

How to clear Windows 10 File Explorer history

While you may have used disk cleanup before, clearing file explorer history is seen as an afterthought. However, it is an easy task and you can do it with few steps. Here is how.

  1. Open File Explorer by clicking on the icon from the taskbar. Or you can also open any folder to get to file explorer.Windows 10 File Explorer
  2. Now, click on the “View” tab at the top of the Windows.
  3. In the ribbon menu that opens, click on “Options”.Windows 10 File Explorer
  4. On the pop-up window that comes up, scroll down to the General tab in the Privacy section and click “Clear”.Windows 10 Disk Cleanup
  5. You can click on “Ok” to finish the process.

How to clear browser cache/history

While temporary files and file explorer history could be hogging memory of your device, you might also occasionally need to clear the cache of your browser. This is how to do it on Google Chrome, the most popular web browser.

  1. Open Google Chrome on your Windows 10 PC.
  2. Now, click on the three-dot menu at the upper right corner and scroll to the history tab.
  3. Select History in the menu or use CTRL + H keyboard shortcut to open the History.
  4. Click on “Clear browsing data”.Google Chrome
  5. In the next window, Chrome will show all the files it will delete. Make changes if necessary and then click on “Clear data”.Google Chrome

If you use Firefox then click on Options and then go to Privacy & Security page and click on Clear History. Then click “Clear Now”. Microsoft Edge users can go to Settings then Clear browsing data section and choose what to clear. Once selected, click on “Clear” to delete the cache and browsing history.

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