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August 4, 2021

Win10 19640 Gains Storage Sense User Cleanup Recommendations

An interesting and potentially nice addition made its debut in Insider Preview Build 19640. You can access it through this click sequence: Start → Settings → System → Storage. If you see an item under the “User cleanup recommendations” heading (see lead-in graphic) in blue that reads “See cleanup recommendations,” your system is prepared to provide links to items it thinks you can remove from your system without harm. Thus, for example, here’s what it shows me on my Lenovo X380 Yoga test system, without expanding any of the underlying categories:

From the preceding screencap (lead-in graphic) I know there are 5.0 GB of files across these 4 categories

The Devil, as Usual, Is in the Details

Things get a lot more interesting when the underlying categories get expanded (click the down-caret to the right of any category name to make that happen). Here’s what I see for “Temporary files,” where the first item is something that has been skipped in the revised version of Disk Cleanup for 19640 — namely, Downloads. This turns out to be the biggest space-sucker in the 5.0 GB collection, at 2.18 GB. But I already know I don’t want to axe those files. The next item includes some hangovers from the upgrade to 19640 (even though I’ve already made one cleanup pass) — namely “Previous Windows Installation(s).” We also see “Delivery Optimization Files” which puts aside files this PC can share with other PCs running the same Win10 version for local file distribution on the LAN.

Interestingly, Download Files remain a cleanup target here, even though that folder is no longer targeted in the latest Disk Cleanup version.

The “Large or unused files” is an interesting grab-bag of stuff. It most shows me files that aren’t terribly big, but indeed they haven’t been used or accessed in some while now. Good targets for deletion, but not a lot to look at. That tells me I’m doing OK at keeping things clean on my own. The biggest item here is under 1 GB, an SDK ISO file that I, in fact, never used once it was downloaded.

Large and Unused lives up to its name and shows me some files I really need to remove. But how does a 27-byte item qualify?

I dont’ see anything under the Files synced to the cloud item, so I won’t show what that looks like. And to me, Unused Apps simply shows that I don’t use that many UWP apps, period, so I won’t bother with it either. I’ve made the decision to leave UWP stuff mostly alone on my test systems. That way, should I need to mess with something for testing later on, it will still be there for me to use.

Final Analysis

I’m a little amused that MS is keeping Downloads in this UWP/Settings version of Disk Cleanup, after removing it from the cleanmgr.exe version. I’m also bemused to see what shows up under the headings that follow “Temporary Files.” I’ll keep working with this capability as my current install ages, but with new versions of Fast Ring windows hitting this machine once every week or two, it’s probably not the best platform for gauging its efficacy as a general-purpose cleanup tool. But from what I see so far, I don’t think it’s quite ready to supplant the Disk Cleanup utility just yet.

Author: Ed Tittel

Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran. He’s a Princeton and multiple University of Texas graduate who’s worked in IT since 1981 when he started his first programming job. Over the past three decades he’s also worked as a manager, technical evangelist, consultant, trainer, and an expert witness. See his professional bio for all the details.

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