Windows 10 Fall Creators Update deletes Trashcan after 30 days (and how to change this setting)

Windows Fall Creators Update (AKA 1709) has been recently deployed to some million PCs around the world; one of the default settings about disk space and storage management may be hurting the way you think about your files: let’s take a look.

The problem and what is affected

By default, files in the recycle bin will be deleted after 30 days.

As a consultant, I see too many users using the Trashcan just like any other folder: it is commonly perceived as a “see later” folder.
Bad idea: both Windows and work logic are against it.

Moreover, the Download folder is affected by this update (and the same policy as well): files that have been downloaded and never changed in the last 30 days will be deleted.
Again, this is going to turn into a nightmare for plenty of users.

The third deletion policy is about temporary files – and you should be happy that Windows itself wipes out some clutter, every now and then…

The logic besides these storage policies is that documents should go into Documents folder, pictures into Images and so on… leaving uncluttered Recycle Bin and Download.

What you can do?

You can check the settings (and decide on your own) by getting into Settings/System/Storage, as in picture, and click on “Change how we free up space” link.

Windows 10 1709 trashcan free storage 1

As you can see in the following picture (showing a typical setting), there are three checkboxes under the “Temporary files” section:
– “Delete temporary files that my apps aren’t using“: my advice is to leave this one on, it will clear most temp files around;
– “Delete files that have been in the recycle bin for over 30 days“: uncheck this if you want to control when to empty the trashcan…;
– “Delete files in the Downloads folder that haven’t changed in 30 days“: again, you may want to uncheck this one and manage the Downloads folder on your own!

Windows 10 1709 trashcan free storage 1

As they say: “better safe than sorry”.

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