Drive Cleanup is a free portable program for Microsoft Windows devices that removes information on non-present storage devices such as disks, floppy drives, CDRoms, USB Storage devices and other devices types from the machine it is run on.
The Windows operating system keeps records of storage devices that have been connected to the system in the past.
This is usually not a huge problem in most cases but some users might want to remove those storage device information from Windows for a variety of reasons.
It can be useful if you are encountering issues with device so that you can start over again next time you connect them to the machine. It may also improve privacy as you can prevent that others can find out about devices that were connected to the PC in the past.
While the latter may not make much sense on single user systems, it may prove useful for PCs at work, school or other public locations.
The easiest way to perform this operation is by using Drive Cleanup for Windows. The command line application comes as a 32-bit and 64-bit edition which should be compatible with most Windows operating systems including Windows 7 but also newer versions of Windows.
Here is what the software program will do when run by the user:
Removes from the device tree non present
- USB mass storage devices
- Disk devices
- CDROM devices
- Floppy devices
- Storage Volumes
and their linked registry items under
The software comes with several switches. Adding -t to the program will for instance simulate the removal and display all the items that would be removed if the program would be executed by the user without the -t parameter.
This can be quite useful to make sure that no issues are experienced after the program is run.
-t test mode
-n no wait when finished
-u only USB mass storage devices
-d only Disk devices
-c only CDROM devices
-f only Floppy devices
-v only Storage Volume devices
-r only registry items
The switches can be used to remove all or only certain storage devices from the list of previously but not currently connected devices.
The program requires administrative privileges to run (except for test mode). The portable tool has a size of only 19 Kilobytes making it an ideal additional for an USB repair stick. It can be downloaded from the developer's website over at Uwe-Sieber.de.
Drive Cleanup is a handy program. While it is specialized in what it does, it can be useful in the scenarios mentioned previously.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.