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I'm looking at the disk usage using WinDirStat, and a sizable chunk (3.5 GB) of my SSD is taken by this file:

C:\Recovery\Customizations\Apps.ppkg

My question is simply that I would like to understand what this file is about?

A secondary (but less important) question is if it's safe (and how to go about) to remove that file, given that I don't mind Recovery mode much, since I can easily re-install my laptop and get my files from source control and backups or network drives.

I'm working on a 2017 Dell XPS Laptop with Windows 10 Pro.

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.ppkg files are provisioning packages:

A provisioning package (.ppkg) is a container for a collection of configuration settings. With Windows 10, you can create provisioning packages that let you quickly and efficiently configure a device without having to install a new image.

Provisioning packages are simple enough that with a short set of written instructions, a student or non-technical employee can use them to configure their device. This can result in a significant reduction in the time required to configure multiple devices in your organization.

So it looks like Dell used it to pre-install some apps without modifying their large Deployment image because Setup looks into that folder for ppkg files:

The provisioning engine always applies provisioning packages persisted in the C:\Recovery\Customizations folder on the OS partition. When the provisioning engine applies provisioning packages in the %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Provisioning folder, certain runtime setting applications, such as the setting to install and configure Windows apps, may be extended past the OOBE pass and continually be processed in the background when the device gets to the desktop. Settings for configuring policies and certain crucial system configurations are always be completed before the first point at which they must take effect.

Make a backup of the file on external storage and try to delete it.

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