When objects are deleted in Windchill, through the UI, any related vault files that exist aren't also automatically deleted at that time. Revaulting, which can run automatically or on a schedule, copies files from one vault to another but doesn't delete files. These functions leave files in the vault that are no longer referenced in the database. PTC tech support article CS24438 gives some background info. The Windchill Help Center has more info.
These unreferenced files should be cleaned up occasionally by an administrator. PTC provides lots of documentation on it. Points to note:
My vault cleanup strategy:
After using Windchill for about 10 years I end up with some 500 products and about 20 libraries. For finished products I purge unnecessary iterations of the CAD objects and WTParts. I also set the vaulting rules on those contexts so the files are moved to a vault that is not included in our daily backup.
Before the revault I perform the 'remove unreferenced files' and during this operation I check the disks periodically, because I have no other option to check if the 'remove...' is still running or not. I can only assume that when de disk usage doesn't change significantly for a few hours, the 'remove...' is supposed to be finished.
Is there really no other option e.g. to get a notification when the "remove unreferenced files" is finished ?
There are two places where you can verify the progress of the purge action.
First you can look at queue called RemoveUnreferencedTaskQueue or you can look in Windchill log folder where you can find something like attached image (file are zipped after 15 days).