delete System Volume Information


  1. Posts : 49
    Windows 10
       #1

    delete System Volume Information


    I cannot find the original post so excuse this new post. On April 29 jumanji showed a simple way to delete the C:\System Volume Information with WinRAR (illustrated below). Before I do this, I want to be sure it's ok. So I have 3 simple questions and 1 other one.

    My computer runs Windows 10 ver 1903 Build 18362.476 and has just 1 drive. If I delete the System Volume Information directory from my C: drive, then restart the computer, will it rebuild itself? Will it be smaller than the current size? Will it hurt my other files on the computer in any way? My Sys Vol Info directory is 26 GB now and I see lots of the files are over a year old. I don't want to loose any data on my C drive. I just want some space back.

    Looking through other posts, I saw one guy had a Sys Vol Info dir of 58 GB. I wonder how this directory is managed and why it can get so large? Shouldn't Windows take care to keep it a reasonable size?

    delete System Volume Information-29-apr-19-12-39-27-am.jpg
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  3. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 19,618
    10 Home x64 (21H1) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #3

    Eddo51 said:
    ... If I delete the System Volume Information directory from my C: drive, then restart the computer, will it rebuild itself?
    Not exactly 'rebuild', you'll loose everything that was in there, but a new one will be created.

    ...My Sys Vol Info directory is 26 GB now and I see lots of the files are over a year old. I don't want to loose any data on my C drive. ... I wonder how this directory is managed and why it can get so large? Shouldn't Windows take care to keep it a reasonable size?
    The main use of System Volume Information is to hold your System Restore Points. That is managed by Windows, but the default maximum size is quite generous. You can set this to a lower value...

    Change System Protection Max Storage Size for Drive in Windows 10

    ...or turn of system protection entirely.

    Turn On or Off System Protection for Drives in Windows 10

    There's more in there besides system restore points though. One of them is a log of every Chkdsk that you have run at boot on this drive. That may be worth keeping for future reference (as text files they're not using much space, a few KB each).

    If you've ever run Backup & Restore (Windows 7), either to back up files or to make a system image, then there are catalog files for these backups. These too take up hardly any space. These catalogs are referenced when you click the 'previous versions' tab in the Properties of a file, some previous versions may be restored from those backups.

    Restore points are far and away the largest use of System Volume Information. While a wholesale deletion may not harm the system, it is safer (and probably just as effective) to just delete all restore points.

    Delete System Restore Points in Windows 10
    Last edited by Bree; 05 Dec 2019 at 07:40.
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  4. Posts : 49
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #4

    Thanks for your assistance. I reduced the disk space usage for restore points from 56 to 28 GB. I was alarmed at the size of the directory but reading the info you guys referred me to made me realize that this is not a problem.
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  5. Posts : 1,222
    Windows 10 Pro
       #5

    The "System Volume Information" folder was first introduced in Windows 2000. This predates System Restore. Documentation was sparse and it's size was small. But it was considered of sufficient importance that by default even an Admin level account could not access it. In Windows 2000 Admin accounts were always elevated. In Windows 2000 it was the only folder in the root of the drive so protected.

    In XP the folder came to be used by System Restore points. Over the years since then it would not be unreasonable to suggest that it contains other undocumented data as well. There is much in Windows that has never been publicly documented.

    If space is a concern it would be best to delete restore points by the provided facility rather than deleting the folder. Doing so would require granting your account the rights to do so. You should think twice before doing this with a system folder.
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  6. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 10,999
    Win10 Pro Versions 2004 and 2009/20H2, Win10 Pro IP_Dev, Win10 Home 1909
       #6

    In XP the folder came to be used by System Restore points. Over the years since then it would not be unreasonable to suggest that it contains other undocumented data as well. There is much in Windows that has never been publicly documented.
    True. It's not much talked about anymore but WinXP [Windows Experience] was the replacement for both the business Win2000 and the consumer WindowsME [Millennium Edition] with its Editions such as Home Premium and Professional so it's not unreasonable that not everything can be known until running into the need to know.
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