I'm getting a new laptop, and giving mine to a co-worker. How can I clean out all the junk & temp files?

(A clean Windows install is not an option.)

  • @rm, you might find/add some more answers at superuser.com/questions/8141/reclaiming-disk-space-on-windows; Additionally, since you are giving away your laptop, hopefully you have erased all sensitive data (passwords/caches/registry-information) that you want to protect (or, maybe you trust the co-worker with all that).
    – nik
    Commented Aug 7, 2009 at 12:10

3 Answers 3


Create a new user account and delete the old one, that should take care of a lot of clutter/rubbish.

If it doesn't delete the folder from Documents & Settings, deleting the account will at least mean you can safely delete it.

Then let CCleaner delete EVERYTHING (just tick every box in the settings) and defrag the system when it's done.


Try CCleaner to remove alot of the common junk. It will remove non-essential files (such as browsing history and temp files) from:

  • Internet Explorer
  • Firefox
  • Google Chrome
  • Opera
  • Safari
  • Windows
    • Recycle Bin
    • Recent Documents
    • Temporary files
    • Log files.
    • Registry
  • Many other third-party applications

I understand you do not wish to reinstall Windows, but take a look at my Erasing data before selling a computer question which covers a similar topic, especially this answer by ChrisF:

As a side note on scenarios when you cannot always format and wipe the disk and have to relinquish ownership of a computer with OS intact (like resigning a job and returning the laptop), Scott Hanselman has noted down a checklist on activities to carry out before giving it up forever.

The Developer's Quitting Your Job Technology Checklist

  • that DBAN tool you recommended ... that would wipe out my windows install as well, wouldn't it? this got me confused "... good way to totally clean a Microsoft Windows installation of viruses and spyware" ... they make it sounds like it doesn't wipe out your Windows install. Please let me know.
    – roman m
    Commented Jul 22, 2009 at 6:36
  • @rm - Yes. DBAN will remove absolutely everything from your hard drive. Try the Scott Hanselman article I linked to.
    – Josh Hunt
    Commented Jul 22, 2009 at 6:50
  • @jtbandes: posting a very quick, short answer so that you get the first answer in is a good way of getting a few upvotes in while you flesh out your answer. If you write something lengthy before posting, some turbo fingered little rep snatcher will inevitably beat you to it. Realease early, release often ;-) Commented Jul 22, 2009 at 6:59
  • @Charles: I understand the idea (hinted at in my comment about rep), though I've found that if you post a better answer, even if it's slightly late, you'll get more upvotes. Maybe I should try it and see. :)
    – jtbandes
    Commented Jul 22, 2009 at 7:03
  • @Qwerty: Sorry, i didn't see your comment. Thanks!
    – Josh Hunt
    Commented Jul 22, 2009 at 7:43

Not to replace the job that CCleaner has, but you may also want to run PC Decrapifier as well. It is a tool that needs some more exposure (like CCleaner).

"... good way to totally clean a Microsoft Windows installation of viruses and spyware"

If you look at DBAN/formatting from a strict security point of view. Once your computer is infected it becomes compromised, you can no longer trust it. So it is a must to format. Simply cleaning the virus is no 100% indication that you are threat free.

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