Enable 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 intall Disk Cleanup, but a lot of other utilities you likey 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 installating 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


Once you’ve located the files move them to the following locations:

  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.