5 Things Windows Can Clear Automatically on Shutdown
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Your system can get bogged down over time, often with unnecessary data. Although you can clear this out manually, we’re going to show you how to automate these tasks to run every time you shut down the computer.

From your browser’s cache to your temporary files, you’re sure to discover a new tip within this article — perhaps even for something that you didn’t know could be cleared out 7 Hidden Windows Caches & How to Clear Them 7 Hidden Windows Caches & How to Clear Them Cached files can take up a lot of bytes. While dedicated tools can help you free up disk space, they might not clear it all. We show you how to manually release storage space. Read More !

If you have your own advice to share for something to automatically clear on shutdown, let us know in the comments below.

1. Recently Opened Documents

For some programs, Windows will keep track of what files you recently viewed. For example, open something like Microsoft Word and right-click it on the Taskbar. The jump list will display all your recent documents. We can clear this list automatically on shutdown using the Registry Editor How Not to Accidentally Mess Up the Windows Registry How Not to Accidentally Mess Up the Windows Registry Working with the Windows registry? Take note of these tips, and you'll be much less likely to do lasting damage to your PC. Read More .

Press Windows key + R to open Run, input regedit, and press OK. On the left-hand pane, navigate to the following path:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion

Check if you have a Policies folder here, with an Explorer folder within. If you have neither or only one, we’ll need to create them. First, right-click CurrentVersion and click New > Key. Name the folder Policies and press Enter.

clear recent docs on exit registry

Second, right-click Policies and click New > Key. Name the folder Explorer and press Enter. Once done, click into that folder.

In the top menu, go to Edit > New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name the value ClearRecentDocsOnExit and press Enter. Next, double-click the value and change the Value data to 1. Finally, click OK. If you ever want to disable this, navigate back to this point and set it to 0 instead.

2. Page File

Windows uses RAM Everything You Need to Know About RAM & Memory Management Everything You Need to Know About RAM & Memory Management RAM is your computer's short term memory. Hence, memory management has a significant impact on system performance. Here we explain how RAM works and whether you can do anything to increase its efficiency. Read More to store files temporarily, but it moves these across to the page file when it runs low on space. While your RAM is automatically cleared on shutdown, the page file is not. We can clear this automatically on shutdown using the Registry Editor.

Once enabled, your computer will take longer to shut down. The additional time will depend on the speed and size of your page file. The risk is minimal as you can revert the change if needed, but be prepared to notice a difference.

Press Windows key + R to open Run, input regedit, and press OK. On the left-hand pane, navigate to the following path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management

On the right-hand pane, you should see a row for ClearPageFileAtShutdown. If you don’t see this, right-click Memory Management on the left and click New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Input ClearPageFileAtShutdown and press Enter.

clear page at shutdown registry

Double-click the ClearPageFileAtShutdown value and change Value data to 1. To finish, click OK. If you want to turn this off again, come back to this screen and set the Value data to 0.

If you’re looking for ways to increase your RAM and avoid things being pushed into the page file, check out our guide on how to clear memory on Windows 5 Ways to Clear Memory & Increase RAM on Your Windows Computer 5 Ways to Clear Memory & Increase RAM on Your Windows Computer RAM, the final frontier. You always seem to run out of it. We'll show you how you can free up internal memory and extend your RAM, both virtually and physically. Read More .

3. Browser Data

Depending on your settings, your browser will be saving a variety of data as you browse, like history, downloads, and form inputs. You can clear these manually at any time, but you can also set them to clear when you close the browser. Each browser is slightly different in method.

Firefox

Open Firefox, click the menu icon (three lines), then Options. Click Privacy on the left navigation. Beneath History, use the Firefox will dropdown and set it to Use custom settings for history.

firefox clear history

Tick Clear history when Firefox closes. Click Settings… to choose what things Firefox should automatically clear when it closes and click OK when done.

Chrome

Open Chrome, click the Customize and control button (three dots), then Settings. Scroll to the bottom and click Advanced > Content Settings … > Cookies. Slide Keep local data only until you quit your browser to be on.

chrome clear history

This will only clear your cookies, however. You can manually clear your Chrome cache 3 Hidden Switches That Clear the Chrome Cache Instantly 3 Hidden Switches That Clear the Chrome Cache Instantly For optimal browser performance, you should clear the cache on a regular basis. Here are three hidden switches that let you do so without interrupting your workflow. Read More , but you can’t automate it.

To automatically anything other than your cookies, you’ll need to use an extension. We recommend Click&Clean. Install it, click the Click&Clean icon next to the address bar and click Options. Within the Extra category, tick Delete private data when Chrome closes.

Edge

Open Edge, click the Settings and more button (three dots), then Settings. Beneath the Clear browsing data header, click Choose what to clear.

edge clear history

Tick everything you want to remove and then slide Always clear this when I close the browser to be On.

4. Live Tile Notifications

If you display live tiles on your Start Menu, you’ll notice that some of them display notifications or live information. It’s good for a quick overview, but if you don’t open these apps then the notifications piling up can be cumbersome. To overcome this, we can clear the live tile cache on shutdown.

Press Windows key + R to open Run, input regedit, and press OK. On the left-hand pane, navigate to the following path:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows

With the Windows folder selected, go to Edit > New > Key. Input Explorer and press Enter.

clear tiles on exit registry

With the Explorer folder selected, go to Edit > New > DWORD (32bit) Value. Input ClearTilesOnExit and press Enter. Next, double-click the DWORD you just created and set the Value data to 1. Then click OK. You can change this to 0 if you want to turn it off in the future.

5. Temporary Files

As you use your computer, it automatically creates temporary files that it might need to call upon for that particular session, like error logs or images. These are stored in a folder called Temp.

To see your Temp folder, press Windows key + R to open Run, input %temp%, and click OK.

temp folder windows

We can create a batch file that will automatically clear out your Temp folder whenever you sign into Windows. To begin, open Notepad and input the following:

rd %temp% /s /q
md %temp%

Click File > Save As… and input the following File name:

%appdata%\microsoft\windows\start menu\programs\startup\temp.bat

Finally, click Save. This will save the batch file in your Startup folder. If you want to stop the process, navigate to the above folder path and delete temp.bak.

If you’re looking to take this to the next level, check our guide on how to keep Windows clean of obsolete files How To Automatically Keep Windows 7 Clean Of Obsolete Files How To Automatically Keep Windows 7 Clean Of Obsolete Files Windows has a way of collecting virtual dust, a circumstance that has not changed considerably in Windows 7. These obsolete files take up space and contribute to hard drive fragmentation. While neither of this is... Read More . It was written for Windows 7, but the process remains the same for Windows 10.

Bonus: Deep Freeze

If you don’t want to clear a specific thing from your computer, but rather everything, then you’re looking for a deep freeze. This will reset your system to a specific state every time you turn it on. This means that anything, whether it’s an edited file or installed program, will be reverted and wiped from the record.

freeze-windows

Windows doesn’t let you do this by default, so you’ll need to install a program to achieve it. There are a number of free and commercial tools available which we’ve previously covered in our article on how to deep freeze your Windows installation System Restore On Reboot - Deep Freeze Your Windows Installation With Free Tools System Restore On Reboot - Deep Freeze Your Windows Installation With Free Tools If you've ever wanted to maintain a system state to keep it secure and not allow any changes, then you might want to try deep freezing your Windows computer. Read More . Check it out for some suggestions, along with further details on deep freezing.

Automatic Tidy Up

Hopefully, you’ve learned something new about what you can automatically clean up on your computer. Remember, you can reverse all of the steps outlined above, should you decide you don’t want them to keep running.

If you’re looking for even more advice, be sure to read our guides on boring tasks to automate with Task Scheduler 4 Boring Tasks You Can Automate With the Windows Task Scheduler 4 Boring Tasks You Can Automate With the Windows Task Scheduler Your time is too valuable to be wasted with repetitive tasks. Let us show you how to automate and schedule tasks. We have a few great examples, too. Read More .

Will you be using any of these tips? Do you have your own automatic cleanup task to share?

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