Windows 7 forum

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Delete Prefetch Files

by slybo / February 17, 2010 4:07 AM PST

With xp and vista I would delete the prefetch files under windows about once a month and it did seem to help. I have just got a computer with windows 7 64bit and was going to do the same. When I go to the prefetch folder I see a small lock icon on the folder, what does that mean? Is it safe to delete the files under prefetch like it was under xp and vista? I have search this under google but only find people that say to do it and then others that say it will only hurt the computer. Hope to get a better answer here. Thank you

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To what end?
by Jimmy Greystone / February 17, 2010 4:37 AM PST
In reply to: Delete Prefetch Files

To what end? Prefetch is aimed at... well... prefetching data and loading it into memory before you actually need it. Deleting these files would likely hinder it's efficacy, since it's likely using some kind of machine learning system to do more accurate predicting.

It's highly unlikely you'll cripple the system in any way, but it seems a bit like shooting yourself in the foot before trying to make a quick getaway.

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because
by slybo / February 17, 2010 5:01 AM PST
In reply to: To what end?

I guess because when I started doing this with xp I read how the files would become corrupted or the folder bloated and it was good to delete them and let windows rebuild them. Also the system was not perfect and the prefetch folder would not get updated as it should when you uninstall and installed programs. I notice that it did seem to make xp run better. But I know how things get improved and so wonder if I need to continue this practice of deleting prefetch on a routine. As I said doing a search I get different opions and just like the opions I usually get here. So do I delete them, I guess you are saying no.

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If you research this
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 17, 2010 5:07 AM PST
In reply to: because

You should find two (maybe more?) lines of thought here. The bottom line is there is so little gain here and no upside.

I'd like to hear what you think about the WINSXS issue instead. What's that? Read http://forums.cnet.com/5208-19411_102-0.html?threadID=347654

That should blow away any of your prefetch concerns.
Bob

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Thanks
by slybo / February 17, 2010 5:35 AM PST
In reply to: If you research this

OK, so it seems this is leaning toward leave it alone and find something else to worry about. Thank you for your reply and link. If anybody else has an opion I would like to hear it. Thanks

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I agree...
by CassandraF_WinTeam / February 19, 2010 2:50 AM PST
In reply to: Delete Prefetch Files

I agree to leave the prefetch folder alone. Each time you turn on your computer, Windows keeps track of the way your computer starts and which programs you commonly open. Windows saves this information as a number of small files in the prefetch folder. The next time you turn on your computer, Windows refers to these files to help speed the start process.

The prefetch folder is a subfolder of the Windows system folder. The prefetch folder is self-maintaining, and there's no need to delete it or empty its contents. If you empty the folder, Windows and your programs will take longer to open the next time you turn on your computer.

Resource: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/What-is-the-prefetch-folder

Cheers,
Cassandra
Microsoft Windows Outreach

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exactly
by electriclott / February 27, 2010 7:20 AM PST
In reply to: Delete Prefetch Files

Yes..I experienced the same with XP...however I noticed that it made my Vista machine run slower for a time until windows rebuilt the folder...so basicly it appears that this being a necessary step went out with xp...there is no longer any need to do it.

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