Microsoft makes a big Windows 10 change to prevent you from deleting important files

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Microsoft will remove the Downloads folder from Windows 10's Disk Cleanup tool, a move the company believes will prevent people from accidentally deleting important files. 

The decision was made after several users expressed fears of inadvertently removing files stored in the Downloads folders, Betanews reports.  

Microsoft states in its release notes for Windows 10 build 19018, "Based on feedback, we’ve decided to remove the downloads folder from disk cleanup."

For those who aren't familiar, Windows' Disk Cleanup is a utility that lets you quickly and easily remove extraneous files to clear up space on your PC's hard drive. Temporary Internet Files and the Recycling Bin are a few of the destinations you can empty using the Disk Cleanup utility. 

By removing the Downloads folder, Microsoft is getting rid of any chance that a user accidentally deletes important files without means of recovering them. On the other hand, deleting files from your Downloads folder won't be as straightforward once the option is removed from Disk Cleanup. 

Microsoft only recently chose to include the Downloads folder in the Disk Cleanup utility, adding it in the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, a version infamously remembered for being halted when users reported missing files. 

There isn't anything wrong, per se, with how Microsoft implemented the Downloads folder in Disk Cleanup. In fact, the option was opt-in, which means users had to specifically check the box next to the folder (or press "select all") for Downloads to be included in the file-purging process. Regardless, too many users feared that they would accidentally select the option and end up with missing files. 

The Downloads folder will first be removed in Windows 10 build 19018 (20H1) for members of the Windows Insider Program. All other users can expect the change to roll out in the coming weeks or months. 

Phillip Tracy

Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.