Monday, January 16, 2012

Windows Folder too large - The cause CSC and Offline Files

No Room
The Problem
Well we use folder redirection for the "My Documents" and "Desktop" folders point them to a server. One of the computers had ran out of space recently and I had spent about 2 hours removing stuff and freed up enough space. This computer was running Windows XP.

About three weeks later it was out of space again as you can see as well from the picture on the right side. This time I quickly checked the size of the windows folder and it hit over 100GB. I knew this was my most likely culprit. After setting explorer to allow me to view Hidden & System files/folders then I looked around and found out my CSC folder was chewing up over 103GB.

I had actually dealt with this problem before with another computer that had the same issue. The following link is what I ended up using before and is what I used this time:

NOTE:Don't try deleting files or folders from the CSC folder. This can really hose it. I don't have experience from this but that is what gets mentioned in fine print on the KB article and across the web by others.

The Solution
Folder Options
Microsoft recommends re-initializing the Offline files cache and database. Apparently sometimes they can become corrupt and this is what causes the folder to grow so large. One hint that is recommended is to not be logged in as the user or users that usually uses the computer. For me I used the Domain Admin Account. To start open up "Windows Explorer" or "My Computer." Click on "Tools" and "Folder Options." Then go to the "Offline Files" tab.

Folder Options/Delete Files
Then while holding down the CTRL + SHIFT on the keyboard click on "Delete Files..." If you did this right than you should get the box displayed below. Click "Yes".
Re-Initialize Offline folders and data

You should then click the "OK" button on the Folder Options Dialog. It will then pop-up the following box telling you should restart. Click "Yes"

After logging back in over the course of about 5 minutes my free space kept climbing until I had 103GB of free space. I then checked the size of my CSC folder and it was now 2.76MB. Over time as my users start to use this folder again it should grow but hopefully will stay in the preset limits now. Also remember to re-hide the hidden and system folders/files again if you unhid them earlier. Hope that helps.


  1. I just saw this entry now and I am highly surprised in a good way by the manner you organize your posts! How exactly do you spread the knowledge that you have shared a new post to your website?

  2. Thanks for this post. My CDC folder was >80Gb, took me a while to get to the bottom of why my filesystem was full! Cheers for the help.

  3. Thank you, my space is back.
    Very usefull

  4. Worked perfectly for me.. thanks

  5. To move the CSC folder to another more spacious location like D:

    Create a folder for your offline file cache. Something like D:\Offline.
    From an elevated command prompt type the following: Takeown /r /f C:\Windows\CSC.
    Open the Sync Center and go to Manage Offline Files.
    Click Disable Offline Files and restart the machine.
    From an elevated command prompt issue the following commands:

    rd /s C:\Windows\CSC
    mklink /J C:\Windows\CSC "D:\Offline"

    Reopen the Manage Offline Files window and Enable Offline Files.

    Restart the machine.

    Peace & Love


Keep it Clean.