Disk Cleanup doesn't wipe MS Defender AV files

Wisewiz

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When I open Disk Cleanup, Microsoft Defender is always listed, and always shows 18-19MB of "unnecessary files." If I've recently run a manual scan, either just a Quick Scan or a scan of a new download, it can creep up to about 22MB. Yeah, I know: that's nothing to worry about. I'm just curious: is it possible to wipe those "unnecessary files"? I've tried killing Defender temporarily with the Cleanup window open, so that I can OK Cleanup as soon as Defender is stopped, but the Cleanup operation always leaves the numbers for Defender unchanged whether I run it in ordinary As Admin or in Extended. Actually, if it has crept up to 22MB or so, after I run Cleanup it's back down to 18-19MB. That seems to be the untouchable minimum. Anyone know of an effective method for clearing Defender's "unnecessary files"?
DiskCleanup1.jpg


(Pro 20H2 19042.964)
 

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ad2048

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As you know you can't delete completely 100% of Windows temporary files because it's in use by Windows or a software.
Now regarding Microsoft Defender, I quote this answer from Microsoft Community "Can't delete Windows Defender non-Critical Files":
Disk Cleanup includes all the logs created by Windows Defender as 'non-critical' files. But almost all of these files are locked by Windows Defender Service when it is running (and this service is not stopped even when you disable Real Time Protection). Therefore, Disk Cleanup will not be able to clear them.
The question now: If you disabled Microsoft Defender manually or by an utility, would you able to clean those 22 MB? I don't know, but I encourage you to leave it to prevent any possible bugs/problems.
 

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Wisewiz

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Thanks, ad. Interestingly, occasionally when I run Disk Cleanup, it does wipe the majority of those files. I have no idea why it sometimes succeeds and sometimes doesn't. I'm just going to leave that item checked in Cleanup. That way, if it can wipe some files, it will, and if it can't, well, so what? (I only use DCleanup once a week, as part of a computer maintenance routine.)
DC.jpg


That's down from 22MB to 3MB.
 

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A Guy

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No matter where you go, there you are
You can try Bleachbit and see if it will delete them. Sometimes some files from AV are blocked from access as a self protection. I see no errors for Defender files when I run it

Clipboard01.jpg


There is also a portable version. Be aware there are many settings pre-checked that you may want to disable. In fact, you can uncheck everything else if all you want it for is to delete the Defender files

I'll always suggest having backups before you try anything new

A Guy
 

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Wisewiz

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Thanks, Guy,

I've never tried Bleachbit, and I'm gonna give it a look. I've downloaded the portable. Thanks for pointing out that it was available in a portable form. The first page I reached from your link didn't mention it, but it was in a set of links at the very bottom of that page. I've run CCleaner for decades in portable , with its .ini in the folder with the .exe.

And thanks for the heads-up about default settings in Bleachbit, too.

BTW, I'm not fanatical about getting to those files Disk Cleanup and CCleaner don't get. They don't take up much space and they're not potentially troublesome, like some uninstallation leftovers can be, but I'm always curious about tenacious little buggers that resist the efforts of DC and CC. You and ad have been very helpful.

Dan
 

My Computer

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  • Operating System
    Win 10 Pro 21H1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkCentre M910S SFF
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 7700 @ 3.60GHz
    Motherboard
    LENOVO
    Memory
    16.0GB dual-Channel DDR4 @ 2400MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD Graphics 630 (Lenovo)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    LG E2442
    Hard Drives
    2 x Samsung EVO 870 240G
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    MBAM Premium & Windows Defender (perfectly matched)
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