Last September, I reported here that MS had announced plans to “deprecate” the venerable Disk Cleanup utility. That post was aptly named “Bye Bye Disk Cleanup?” Among the issues I raised therein was the threat of loss of command-line access to disk cleanup capabilities. This morning, I saw a recent post from Martin Brinkmann at Ghacks.net that helped to allay that very concern. It is entitled “Comet is an open source Windows Disk Cleanup clone.” This item tells a nice story about a potential stand-in that works with equal facility in the Windows GUI and at the command line. That program is named Comet, and it seems that Comet offers interesting Disk Cleanup alternative.
If Comet Offers Interesting Disk Cleanup Alternative, Then What?
To download this program, when you visit the project’s Github page, click that page’s Releases tab. Then, download a Release-<date>.zip file. Be sure to grab the latest release, and unzip it into a directory of your choosing. If you download the ZIP from the home page, you’ll get a source code hierarchy instead (which you could compile, if you wanted to, but why bother when the .exe itself is readily available?)
Comet is portable, so you can run it from anywhere, including a USB stick, if you like.
[Click image for full-sized view.]
Working with Comet right now is exactly like working with Disk Cleanup. It seems to be a nearly indistinguishable facsimile of cleanmgr.exe (aka Disk Cleanup). The developer does allow the app window to be resized, unlike the original, so I’ve already tweeted him the suggestion that he show more checkbox items by default when that window is expanded. Right now, the “Description” pane grows with the expansion. This doesn’t really do much for users, which is why suggested showing more checkbox items instead. To wit:
If I can grow the app window, as this screencap shows, why not grow the checkbox item display pane instead of the Description pane?
Nevertheless, this is a great little tool. And now, should Microsoft retire Disk Cleanup, looks like there’ll be a worthwhile replacement. I’m pleased and relieved. You should be, too.
AMAZING NOTE Added 4/20/2019: Feature Provided
I tweeted the developer of the Comet program yesterday with the foregoing suggestion. It’s already implemented. The program name has also changed to Managed Disk Cleanup, and the exe file is now named mdiskclean.exe. Check out this screencap!
Now THAT’s what I call a quick and very helpful developer response. Yowza!