Microsoft just made it harder to empty your Downloads folder in Windows

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Windows' Disk Cleanup tool will no longer empty your Downloads folder as part of its standard tidying up process.

As Windows Latest reports, Micosoft claims it's made the change as a result of feedback from users worried about accidentally deleting important files that they'd downloaded but not moved somewhere more permanent.

Microsoft's decision to include the Downloads folder in Disk Cleanup was a recent one. It was only added as an option with the infamous Windows 10 October 2018 Update, and even then wasn't selected by default; users had to specifically opt in to purge the folder.

However, it was all too easy for inexperienced users to check all the available options, in the belief that Microsoft wouldn't provide any options that weren't safe to use, and find themselves missing files that they wanted to keep.

Feeling empty

The change is implemented in Windows 10 build 19018, which is currently available to members of the Windows Insider Program in the Fast Ring, and will be rolled out more widely in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, if you're worried about accidentally deleting useful files, it's wise to install free file recovery software so you're prepared in case the worst happens. Installing recovery software after the data has been lost means you risk overwriting the files and losing them forever.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)