How can I change which tools Windows 2000 and later uses by default for disk cleanup, backup, and defragmentation?

A. If you right-click a drive, select Properties, then select the Tools tab, you'll see buttons for backing up and defragmenting your disk. On the General tab, you'll also see a button labeled Disk Cleanup. By default, Win2K and later run the following programs for each of the buttons:

  • Disk clean-up--\%systemroot%\system32\cleanmgr.exe /D %c
  • Defragment--mmc.exe C:\progra~1\execut~1\diskee~2\diskee~1.msc %c:
  • Backup--\%systemroot%\system32\ntbackup.exe

To change the program used, perform the following steps:

  1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
  2. Navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MyComputer registry subkey. Under the subkey are three keys: BackupPath, cleanuppath, and DefragPath. Under each of these keys, the (Default) value specifies the program to be used. If any of the keys don't exist (by default, BackupPath doesn't exist in Win2K), go to the Edit menu; select New, Key; then enter the name of the missing key under the MyComputer subkey.
  3. Double-click the (Default) value under the path you want to modify, change the value to reflect the program you want to use, then click OK.
  4. Close the registry editor.

The change takes effect immediately.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.