How much of this NTUSER.DAT stuff can I delete?

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  1. Ghot's Avatar
    Posts : 12,188
    Win 10 Home 10.0.19044.1237 (x64) [21H2]
       #1

    How much of this NTUSER.DAT stuff can I delete?


    All of these files together only add up to 28MB, so far. Looking at the dates, I can guess that this will keep growing in size.
    So the question is, how much of this junk can I get rid of, without losing any of my settings.

    Iirc, this didn't happen on Windows 7, there was just the plain NTUSER.DAT and one or two NYUSER.DAT.LOG files.

    Thanks in advance...



    How much of this NTUSER.DAT stuff can I delete?-image1.png
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  2. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 9,153
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 21H2 Build 19044.1237
       #2

    Ghot,

    Personally, I'd make a system image & test its boot disk then delete everything except
    ntuser.dat - because it contains the user profile***
    ntuser.ini - because I do not know what it is
    ntuser.dat.log1 {& .log2} - because they are in use despite their old modified dates

    I only have a few and have never tried clearing them out.
    How much of this NTUSER.DAT stuff can I delete?-multiple-user-dat-entries.png
    If Windows wanted to be a real pig about deleting them I'd boot from an installation USB to do the job in its Command prompt - safe in the knowledge that I had the new system image to fall back on if it all went haywire afterwards.

    I would not be at all surprised to find that those other ntuser... files are temporary files that Windows forgot to delete when logging off.
    - Have you been having to force the computer off at all?

    ***
    I believe that I am right because ntuser.dat is all I have to load if I want to look at another user's HKCU section of the Registry.
    I hope I am right because that's the only part of other users' profiles that I back up [when I do a Registry hive backup].

    All the best,
    Denis
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 1,867
    Windows 10 Pro 2004 20H1
       #3

    I use Nirsoft's SearchMyFiles to search for both *.blf and *.regtrans-ms files (as well as other types such as .tmp, .bak, .dmp, old .log files, etc.)

    SMF will delete the ones it can.

    Never had an issue with it.
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  4. Ghot's Avatar
    Posts : 12,188
    Win 10 Home 10.0.19044.1237 (x64) [21H2]
    Thread Starter
       #4

    Ok, made a backup, then deleted a bunch of those files. I didn't try the NTUSER.DAT.LOG(1&2), or the NTUSER.DAT or the ntuser.ini ... then I rebooted. All seems fine, all my previous tweaks seem to still be in effect.

    The others you see in this pic, said "can't be deleted, in use by SYSTEM. I could probably delete those as well, but for now, (now that all my tweaking is pretty much done), I'll leave those three, and see what happens.

    On a side note: Those three that are "in use by SYSTEM, are dated the 11th, which is the last Macrium backup before today's.



    How much of this NTUSER.DAT stuff can I delete?-image1.png



    I guess this is... "resolved" for now. Thx guys.


    @Try3
    @OldNavyGuy
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 1,867
    Windows 10 Pro 2004 20H1
       #5

    Ghot said:
    The others you see in this pic, said "can't be deleted, in use by SYSTEM. I could probably delete those as well, but for now, (now that all my tweaking is pretty much done), I'll leave those three, and see what happens.
    You do want to leave the ones alone that can't be deleted.
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  6. Ghot's Avatar
    Posts : 12,188
    Win 10 Home 10.0.19044.1237 (x64) [21H2]
    Thread Starter
       #6

    OldNavyGuy said:
    You do want to leave the ones alone that can't be deleted.


    That's pretty much what I figured as well.
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  7. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 9,153
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 21H2 Build 19044.1237
       #7

    Ghot,

    You will find additional, interesting ditties in ntuser.dat - TenForums

    And, according to What Is the ntuser.dat file - HTG, those *.log1/2 files are interim backups of ntuser.dat

    I've also just found a fascinating comment in What Is the ntuser.dat file - Techwalla that if ntuser.dat is renamed ntuser.man it will function but does not get altered. So you could fix a user profile for, say, a visitor and any profile changes would only last until logoff.
    - I don't think I will ever need that ability but it seems to me to be a method of making a standard user account behave just like a conventional Guest account would.
    - So it is something I would set up in preference to a Guest account.

    Denis
    Last edited by Try3; 14 Oct 2020 at 05:41.
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  8. Ghot's Avatar
    Posts : 12,188
    Win 10 Home 10.0.19044.1237 (x64) [21H2]
    Thread Starter
       #8

    That's pretty interesting (ntuser.man), but I'll probably never use that either.

    I rebooted, and checked my "personalizations", and everything was still.. set.
    I knew I couldn't remove the NTUSER.DAT file itself, I tried that on Win 7. Oops.

    My OCD just kicked in when I saw all the .bif and .regtrans-ms files. But, making a fresh backup and then messing with it...
    Showed what I could and couldn't get rid of, so that worked out.

    It's nice to know exactly what those files were doing, concerning my user account.. or should I say... HOW they were doing it.
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  9. Ghot's Avatar
    Posts : 12,188
    Win 10 Home 10.0.19044.1237 (x64) [21H2]
    Thread Starter
       #9

    @Try3

    Well, it's a good thing I made a backup. Last night comp rebooted a few times, no problem.
    Today though, it got stuck on the Welcome screen, where the password is entered. It took forever for the password box to appear.
    Before I even tried that, I just restored from the backup I had made.

    So now they're all back, BUT the computer boots... no problem.
      My Computer

  10. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 9,153
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 21H2 Build 19044.1237
       #10

    Ghot,

    If you don't already have a spare, local, password-protected Admin user account I suggest you make one now and write its password down somewhere secure yet accessible.
    - All those files indicate a series of past problems writing the amended user profile whilst closing the user profile down before logging off.
    - The problem logging in indicates a user profile problem.
    - All we cannot know is whether your fiddling with those files caused the login problem or whether that login problem was going to happen eventually anyway.

    Writing down user account passwords is as effective as & is a lot cheaper than making 'Password reset disks' [which are only for local accounts anyway]. I always write user account passwords down on a strip of paper that I keep inside one of those dog nametag cylinder things attached to my main keyring -
    Here, purely as an example, is a [UK] link for ID tags https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pet-Barrel-.../dp/B00DEB1JVQ There are lots of available choices but I bought ones that, like these, have a slot in the bottom for me to swing off so I can be confident they won't come apart accidentally while I'm out & about.

    All the best,
    Denis
      My Computer


 
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