I deleted 75GB of useless files created by Windows in the CSC folder!

Ever heard of the C:\Windows\CSC folder? Me neither, but I noticed recently that a scanning program I was running was stuck on this folder, sifting through thousands and thousands of files. The folder appeared to be otherwise empty and Windows wouldn’t let me open it to see what was in it. After a quick Internet search, I learned that CSC stood for Client Side Cache; it’s where Windows keeps copies of network files and folders so you can use them if the network goes down. This feature is enabled by default. Based on what I was seeing, I knew there were a lot of files being stored there, but I didn’t think it would end up being 75GB!

For me, it seemed like a total unnecessary waste of disk space and I looked for a way to turn the feature off. At a very minimum, I wanted to clear it out and start fresh. It probably had tons of ancient files still cached that I’d never need. Note that this is really only an issue if you connect your computer to a network; however, even if you don’t have a home network, perhaps it’s a laptop that has been used on a network, like at work.

Unfortunately, you can’t just delete the files within the CSC folder. There are couple things you need to do first and here are the steps. (Note that this is a semi-advanced tutorial so proceed at your own risk.):

First, turn off the Offline files feature:
1. Open Control Panel and type “Offline” into the search box. “Manage offline files” should appear under Sync Center. Click it.
2. Click the “Disable offline files” button in the panel that appears.
3. Reboot your PC.
Next, give yourself permissions to access the folders:
4. Open a File explorer window and navigate to C:\Windows\CSC
5. Right-click it and open Properties
6. Click the “Advanced” button on the Securities tab
7. Click the “Change” link located to the right of where it says “Owner:” (see image in Step 9)
8. In the panel that pops up, add your Windows username and click OK.
9. Enable the “Replace owner on subcontainers and objects” option. (You probably don’t need to do this, but I also enabled the “Replace all child object permission entries with inheritable permission entries from this object” option and clicked the “Enable inheritance” button at the bottom.)
12. Click OK. Also click OK on the subsequent warning dialogs.
13. Now you will be able to delete the folders and files inside CSC.
14. If you still want to use the offline files feature, go back to Step 1 and re-enable offline files.


That’s it. Hope this frees some space for you!

RAM Freed up too???

An unexpected benefit is that my RAM usage seems to have been reduced by about 10-15%. I’m hoping this is an unexpected side benefit and will monitor. I guess if you think about it, Windows would need a lot of memory to cache all of the network files in real-time. Anyways, fingers are crossed ;-)

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