Microsoft is Ditching Classic Disk Cleanup in Windows 10

Microsoft today announced that they are removing the classic Disk Cleanup tool in favor of the Storage Sense feature. For users who track Windows 10 development, this is not a surprise, since Storage Sense completely replicates Disk Cleanup in recent Windows 10 builds.

Disk Cleanup is an essential Windows system tool which allows you to delete various unnecessary files created by the OS to save space on your disk drive. By default, it works in a simpler mode which allows you to delete only the files related to your current user account. You can switch it to the extended mode, which allows you to delete more unused files such as the ones used by Windows Updates, or service packs and so on.

All its options are can be found in Settings, under System - Storage - Storage Sense. See the article:

How to Free Up Drive Space in Windows 10

The feature is available in the OS in Windows 10 version 1803, also known as 'April 2018 Update'.

The official announcement states the following:

Disk Cleanup Deprecation

The Disk Cleanup experience (“cleanmgr.exe”) is being deprecated. We’re retaining the Disk Cleanup tool for compatibility reasons. There’s no need to worry since Storage Sense’s functionality is a superset of what the legacy Disk Cleanup provides!

Reference: Technet.

For advanced users, Disk Cleanup has several advantages over the Settings app. For example, you can create presets to run them later. If you read the article "Disk Cleanup (Cleanmgr.exe) Command Line Arguments in Windows 10", you might be already familiar with two command line arguments: /SAGESET and /SAGERUN.

The /SAGESET command line argument can be used to create a preset, then the /SAGERUN option can be used to launch the preset. See

Create a Preset for Cleanmgr (Disk Cleanup)

Also, there is a useful option, /LOWDISK, which allows starting cleanmgr.exe with all items checked.

These tricks are very useful in various automation scenarios. The unexpected removal of the tool will leave users without any built-in alternative to it. Unfortunately, the Settings app is not a solution if you need to automate your disk cleanup process.

One thought on “Microsoft is Ditching Classic Disk Cleanup in Windows 10

  1. Bos Maior

    ‘We’re retaining the Disk Cleanup tool for compatibility reasons’.

    This appears to imply that you can still use the tool even though the ‘experience’ (whatever that means) is being deprecated.

    Reply

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