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FormatDatabase registry key

If you are using offline files/CSC, the cache would take significant amount of space on your local disk. You may want to clear up some disk space by deleting this cache. Learn how to use FormatDatabase registry key to delete offline files cache.

  1. Create a registry value FormatDatabase of type REG_DWORD(32 bit) under the node HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Csc\Parameters
  2. Set its value to 1
  3. Reboot the computer

You can as well run the below command that would do exactly the same as above.

reg add HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Csc\Parameters /v FormatDatabase /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

Note that this command should be run from elevated administrator command prompt.

Note that cache will not be deleted with every reboot of the machine as the FormatDatabase key will be deleted from the registry after the reboot.

This method deletes everything form the cache and when the system is up and user logs in, if there are any files or folders marked for offline availability, these will be synchronized and cache will be re-initialized. For example, if My Documents is redirected to a network share, even after setting FormatDatabase to 1 and rebooting the machine you will still see that cache is filled up with the files from My Documents folder.

This registry key approach works on all versions – Windows 7 and Windows 10.

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