Windows 11: Reduce memory used by applications

Windows 11: Reduce memory used by applications

open storage

Windows offers an on-board tool that supports you. To see how much space apps, temporary files, and documents are using, open Settings. This can be done via the extended context menu that appears after right-clicking on the Start button. If you prefer keyboard shortcuts, press the Windows key + i instead.

  1. Windows 11 version 21H2
    First, call up the settings, for example by right-clicking on the start button.
  2. Windows 11 version 21H2
    Then navigate to the “System” section on the left and click on “Storage” on the right.
  3. Windows 11 version 21H2
    For details, follow the “Show more categories” link.
  4. Windows 11 version 21H2
    A list then reveals which components occupy how much storage space. However, it may take some time until Windows has filled the individual categories.
  5. Windows 11 version 21H2
    For example, if you want to locate large folders, click Other.
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    Now you can easily locate large directories, such as a virtual machine folder.
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    After clicking on an entry, the associated directory can be managed using Windows Explorer.
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    Instead of browsing through the eligible categories yourself, you can refer to Windows’ cleaning recommendations.
  9. Windows 11 version 21H2
    The suggestions are also placed in different categories, such as “Temporary files”. You select the elements contained in it using a checkbox and then click on the cleanup button.
  10. Windows 11 version 21H2
    In this way, you also have the opportunity to get rid of unused or little-used apps. This includes some Microsoft applications, such as media playback.

You should then automatically be in the System section. If not, use the left sidebar to navigate there. Now go to the right pane and click Storage.

Get disk space usage

On the next page you can see the total usage of your local data medium at the top. Underneath, Windows lists the proportion of apps and features as well as temporary files. However, Windows only reveals details if you follow the Show more categories link.

The operating system then uses a longer list to show how much storage space is used for which components. For example, you can locate large folders, remove orphaned local accounts, or delete offline maps. Depending on the size and type of storage medium, it may take some time for Windows to fill the individual categories in the list.

If you click on one of the headings, more information can be found. For example, if you select Other, you can easily locate large directories and manage them using Windows Explorer. In this way, for example, virtual machines or video files that are no longer used can be disposed of to free up storage space.

Use cleaning recommendations

Instead of shimmying through the numerous categories yourself, you can also see what suggestions Windows is making. To do this, go back to System / Storage. On this page, you then select cleaning recommendations.

The suggestions are in turn housed in different categories, such as Temporary files, Large or unused files and Unused apps. If you open a category, the elements it contains can be selected using a checkbox and then removed by clicking on the cleanup button. Because nothing is preselected in this dialog, you have full control. For example, you can decide whether only the files in the recycle bin or also in the Downloads folder are to be deleted from the temporary files.

Products: The trick works with Windows 11, version 21H2. The procedure may differ in other versions.

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