Windows cleanmgr takes too long at compress old files

Here’s a quick fix for Windows 2000 and XP when using cleanmgr to clean out temporary files. I’ve run across many systems that it just freezes (or takes way too long) calculating space saved by compressing old files, or hangs just saying “compress old files”. Well, here’s one way to skip that step.

First open the registry editor…. (Disclaimer: the registry is a large and scary place, one of those areas where an incorrect entry or deletion could be VERY bad. Back it up.)
To start regedit, click start, run and type “regedit” without quotes and click ok.

Now, start navigating through the nest of registry entries. We’re heading for

At this point you might select Compress Old Files and Export a registry file of that key, then you should be able to delete Compress old files and next time you run cleanmgr it won’t bother with the long process of calculating how much space will be saved by compressing old files.

There is another similar angle to this fix, instead of deleting the “Compress Old Files” key, navigate to that Key, and create a New string, call it Default_(old) or something like that Default_(bkp), then open the Default key, CUT the long string of numbers and letters there, paste it into the new Default_(old) and you should have a similar effect as removing the Compress Old Files entry. (And an easy way back as well.)

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