What problems might occur if I delete files/folders under C:\VritualRoot?

Although many users have queried why files and folders under C:\Vritualroot don’t get deleted when a sandboxed process unloads, the typical response is that the sandbox was not designed for privacy. Fair enough but it seems rude to keep leaving old files laying about under this path without doing any cleanup. If VritualRoot never gets cleaned up then it continues to amass more and more files which wastefully consumes disk space to pollute the file system with worthless files.

So I’m wondering what harm there would be if the user (directly or automatically) does the cleanup that CIS omits. If a still-running process had open handles on files then they wouldn’t get deleted. If the process doesn’t exist anymore, all the files are eligible for deletion.

I use CCleaner to do manually initiated and scheduled cleanup of my drives. It allows the inclusion of other paths that aren’t included in the program as presets. So, for example, I could add C:\VritualRoot to its inclusion list. When I tell CCLeaner to run its cleanup, everything under that path (both files and subfolders) gets removed. Voila, a cleaner drive.

I have a shortcut in a toolbar in the Windows taskbar that runs the following when I want to manually instigated cleanup (and without having to load CCleaner’s UI):

“C:\Program Files\CCleaner\CCleaner.exe” /auto

I also have a scheduled task that runs the same command; however, it is configured to wait 30 minutes for the computer to become idle before running the task and will retry for up to a max of 60 minutes. The scheduled cleanup occurs early morning but will pend until the computer is idle (so any current work doesn’t get interrupted with an unwanted cleanup) and only tries for up to an hour more. It’s not critical that the cleanup happen for a particular scheduled run but I do want it to happen sometime. I probably do the manual cleanup far more often than the scheduled one manages to run.

So I’m wondering what are the dangers of cleaning out the VritualRoot folder since CIS won’t do it immediately or after some configurable expiration after a process unloads that got sandboxed. I realize one hazard is that any files that I downloaded would get wiped out by the cleanup if I didn’t first move them out of the VritualRoot subfolder before a manual or scheduled cleanup. Same goes for any documents that I create or modify when the editing app is sandboxed; however, I can’t think of why I would be sandboxing an editor that I trust enough to produce trustworthy output files.

While this might satisfy some of my privacy concerns regarding remnant files left behind under \VritualRoot, more importanly it addresses cleaning up the pollution left behind on the drive. But I’d like some opinions on what hazards there may be in doing this cleanup other than already noted. If CIS won’t do the cleanup, it looks like I can get CCleaner to do it for me.

If I am not mistaken, I believe that the C:\VritualRoot directory gets automatically cleared out when you reboot your computer. I know I have had programs run in the sandbox, and my VritualRoot directory is currently empty, despite the fact that I never personally deleted anything in that folder.

If true (that \VritualRoot gets cleaned on reboot), it would be nice if the manual mentioned that fact. However, for users, like me, that leave their computer powered 24x7 using standby power mode and only rebooting when forced to, that function would still mean that VritualRoot would keep piling up with garbage files until I happened to do a reboot sometime in the future. It’s more likely that I’d end up cleaning up the folder using Windows Explorer before the next reboot happened but that requires me happening upon the remnant files to cleanup. So instead I’m thinking of letting a scheduled cleanup utility (CCleaner) do it for me.