Migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7
Illustration by Richard Downs

Cleaning up temporary files with disk cleanup


From:

Migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7

with David Rivers

Video: Cleaning up temporary files with disk cleanup

If you've installed Windows 7 successfully and you've used Windows Easy Transfer to transfer your old files and settings from your old XP environment to the Windows 7 environment, you're ready to roll. During the process of the installation and easy transfer, certain things happened behind the scenes. Temporary files are created, files that are no longer necessary. Think about that windows.old folder that's created storing your old files from the XP environment that you really don't need if you were successful in using Windows Easy Transfer to get them over to your new environment.

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Watch the Online Video Course Migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7
1h 6m Appropriate for all Nov 13, 2009

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For those who held on to Windows XP and skipped Vista, Migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7 demonstrates how to update the OS with ease. Instructor David Rivers takes a step-by-step approach to transferring files, saving settings, and determining the best data migration option for any system. David has organized the course around three key tasks: pre-installation to complete on an XP machine; the actual installation of Windows 7; and post-installation, to get any remaining files in place and ensure the hardware is connected. Along the way, he offers tips and tricks for a smooth transition from Windows XP to Windows 7.

Topics include:
  • Figuring out the best migration option for any situation
  • Creating an optional partition for Windows 7
  • Using Easy Transfer to store files and settings
  • Performing a clean install of Windows 7 on a new partition
  • Cleaning up temporary files after installation with disk cleanup
Subject:
Business
Software:
Windows
Author:
David Rivers

Cleaning up temporary files with disk cleanup

If you've installed Windows 7 successfully and you've used Windows Easy Transfer to transfer your old files and settings from your old XP environment to the Windows 7 environment, you're ready to roll. During the process of the installation and easy transfer, certain things happened behind the scenes. Temporary files are created, files that are no longer necessary. Think about that windows.old folder that's created storing your old files from the XP environment that you really don't need if you were successful in using Windows Easy Transfer to get them over to your new environment.

So you might want to clean up your computer, clean up that space so it's available to you here in Windows 7. That's what we're going to do right now using a utility called Disk Cleanup. We'll click the Start button, click All Programs, click Accessories, then System Tools and here you'll find the Disk Cleanup utility. So when you select that, the first window prompts you for the drive you want to cleanup, which will be your hard drive. Now if you happened to have more than one hard drive, you'll be able to select from this list.

You want to select the drive though where you've installed Windows 7, in this case, the C drive. Then when you click OK, it may take a couple of minutes for Disk Cleanup to analyze your system and search for temporary files and other useless files that you might be able to get rid of, to free up that space. So the Disk Cleanup tab is selected and you can see down below checkmarks next to certain items that will be deleted. Downloaded Program Files, there is Temporary Internet Files that are no longer needed. And as you scroll down the list, you'll see some checkboxes are not checked off at all, while others are.

Now if you want to clear your system, in other words, you want to have access to those hidden files as well, you can choose Clean up system files. Again, it's going to prompt you for the drive, with the C drive selected we can click OK. It will take a minute to analyze what's possible for deletion. Here we have a Disk Cleanup tab as well as More Options. So we can go down here selecting the actual files we want to be able to delete. You can click checkboxes next to the items and you'll notice that there is something else on this list that we didn't see previously and that's Previous Windows Installation.

That's our windows.old folder. So if you click the checkbox there, and then just click to select it, you'll be able to read a description down below. These are files and folders that might conflict with the installation of Windows 7 that we've now, and they were moved into that folder for that reason. Now we can access this data at any time, but with the checkbox selected, we're about to remove those files. So only when you feel totally confident and safe that you no longer need those files, go ahead and click this checkbox. Now let's check the More Options tab.

If we wanted to we can also go in and start removing Programs and Features. And we could do this from the Control Panel as well by uninstalling programs. But if you want to do it all in one fell swoop, you can do it from here as well, as well as a System Restore and Shadow Copies. If you have an automatic backup or if you backed up your system, you can always restore it. If you have used the Restore feature there are shadow files that exist from previous restore points. So if you wanted to clean those up as well, you've two buttons here that give you that access.

Let's go back to the Disk Cleanup tab. Make sure we've everything selected that we want. You can empty the Recycle Bin along the way as well, and if you've got everything selected the way you want, click OK and you'll need to confirm because we're deleting files permanently. Click the Delete Files button, sit back and let this cleanup do its job. When it's done, you'll notice you've a little bit more free space on your hard drive that you can use for other things here in Windows 7.

There are currently no FAQs about Migrating from Windows XP to Windows 7.

 
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