How to enable the Disk Cleanup tool on Windows Server 2008 R2

For some odd reason Microsoft decided to leave this feature disabled by default, and place it within a optional feature set called "Desktop Experience."

If your hard drive is getting full, and you wish to do a disk cleanup, there are two ways to enable the Disk Cleanup tool.  We recommend using Option #2 below for several reasons:

- Installing the Desktop Experience feature will not only install Disk Cleanup, but a lot of other utilities you likely don't need on a server (sound recorder, desktop themes, etc.)

- Installing the Desktop Experience feature will require a server reboot.

 

How to enable the Disk Cleanup tool:

 

1) Go to Programs & Features, and in the Features section, enable/install "Desktop Experience".   The downside to this is that you will need to reboot your server after installing this and it installs other components you do not need on a server.

 

2) [RECOMMENDED] -  All you really need to do is copy some files that are already located on your server into specific system folders, as described at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff630161(WS.10).aspx

 

The location of the files you need to copy depend on your version of Windows:

Operating System

Architecture

File Location

Windows Server 2008 R2

64-bit

C:\Windows\winsxs\amd64_microsoft-windows-cleanmgr_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7600.16385_none_c9392808773cd7da\cleanmgr.exe

Windows Server 2008 R2

64-bit

C:\Windows\winsxs\amd64_microsoft-windows-cleanmgr.resources_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7600.16385_en-us_b9cb6194b257cc63\cleanmgr.exe.mui

Windows Server 2008

64-bit

C:\Windows\winsxs\amd64_microsoft-windows-cleanmgr.resources_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6001.18000_en-us_b9f50b71510436f2\cleanmgr.exe.mui

Windows Server 2008

64-bit

C:\Windows\winsxs\amd64_microsoft-windows-cleanmgr_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6001.18000_none_c962d1e515e94269\cleanmgr.exe.mui

Windows Server 2008

32-bit

C:\Windows\winsxs\x86_microsoft-windows-cleanmgr.resources_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6001.18000_en-us_5dd66fed98a6c5bc\cleanmgr.exe.mui

Windows Server 2008

32-bit

C:\Windows\winsxs\x86_microsoft-windows-cleanmgr_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6001.18000_none_6d4436615d8bd133\cleanmgr.exe

Windows Server 2012:

C:\Windows\WinSxS\amd64_microsoft-windows-cleanmgr_31bf3856ad364e35_6.2.9200.16384_none_c60dddc5e750072a\cleanmgr.exe
C:\Windows\WinSxS\amd64_microsoft-windows-cleanmgr.resources_31bf3856ad364e35_6.2.9200.16384_en-us_b6a01752226afbb3\cleanmgr.exe.mui

Windows Server 2012 R2:  must install Desktop Experience. Use Powershell command:
Install-WindowsFeature Desktop-Experience

 

 

Once you’ve located the files move them to the following locations (Server 2012 non-R2 and earlier):

  1. Copy Cleanmgr.exe to %systemroot%\System32.
     
  2. Copy Cleanmgr.exe.mui to %systemroot%\System32\en-US.
     

You can now launch the Disk cleanup tool by running Cleanmgr.exe from the command prompt.

 

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