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Files and Folders You Can Delete in Windows 10 and Those You Can’t Files and Folders You Can Safely Delete In Windows 10

First up, let’s be safe and have a look at all those files and folders that you can safely delete in Windows 10.

1. Windows Temp Folder

Type %temp% in the Windows search bar and press Enter

-Why’s It Harmless To Delete?

2. Hibernation File

How To Reach This Folder?

This is located at C:hiberfil.sys

-Why’s It Harmless To Delete?

Hibernation mode works quite alike sleep mode except it saves your work to a storage drive before your computer shuts down. The fact is that it does take a considerable amount of space on your hard drive (going up to several gigabytes). In case you don’t use hibernation, you can disable it. We are asking you to disable it because if you delete the file, Windows will recreate it. To disable it –

In the Windows search bar type cmd

Select Run as administrator from the right-hand side

When the command prompt window opens type

powercfg.exe /hibernate off

3. chúng tôi Folder

How To Reach This Folder?

It is located at C:Windows.old

-Why’s It Harmless To Delete?

Unless you are regretting updating your Windows to a new version, there is no reason why you shouldn’t get rid of files that made your old Windows version. This folder can otherwise be used if you wish to roll back a Windows update in which case you should first be sure that your upgraded Windows is causing no issues.

Keeping that possibility aside, you can get rid of this folder. Although Windows itself deletes this folder shortly after it has been upgraded, if the necessity arises and you are running short on storage space, you can use the Disk Cleanup tool to get rid of this folder. To do that –

Locate Previous Windows installation(s) and hit the delete button

4. Downloaded Program Files

How To Reach This Folder?

It is located at  C:WindowsDownloaded Program Files

-Why’s It Harmless To Delete?

Harmless? You might wonder – who on Earth would want to get rid of important files related to programs? Your question is quite legit but, the files that reside in this folder are those used by the Internet Explorer’s Java applets and ActiveX controls. These help you use the same feature eliminating the need to download them again. But, think in today’s day and age who uses ActiveX and Java applets and quite a large number of users have moved on from Internet Explorer as well. So, it is safe to say that you can delete it pronto if you wish to free up storage space.

5. Recycle Bin

How To Reach This Folder?

Locate the trash can icon on your desktop or type recycle bin in the address bar of your File Explorer

-Why’s It Harmless To Delete?

Harmless or not, that’s the question. This depends on the file or folder that resides inside. There hardly are any system-related files so even if you mistakenly delete a file, you at least won’t render your computer or laptop inoperable.

This is a place that goes unseen and that contains a lot many files and even folders that we delete over some time. But, if you have decided to spring clean your Recycle Bin and have the slightest doubt that there could be an important file or folder inside, you can first install a data recovery software, so that, even if you have permanently deleted a  file or folder that you shouldn’t have, you will be able to recover them with the help of this software.

Files and Folders To Keep in Windows 10

Now that we have talked about files and folders that are safe to delete in Windows 10, there also are certain files and folders, deleting which can be a blunder because even if they take up space, they are responsible for making the operating system work smoothly. If you delete these, you could soon change your computer into a brick, corrupt the data that resides inside or make your Windows unstable. So what files and folders in Windows 10 are we talking about?

1. Program Files

We have put this file as the first thing, you shouldn’t even think of deleting even in the wildest of your dreams because it’s where all the files and folders pertaining to your software are installed by default. Should you need to uninstall a program, better use the Control Panel.

Furthermore, if you are concerned that even after deleting software, you might have to deal with the remains, you can choose from various uninstaller programs for Windows. Just for your information, this file is located at C:Program Files or C:Program Files(x86).

2. System32 Folder

It is a subfolder located at C:WindowsSystem32 and it contains several library files that are crucial for your default Windows program and system per se. For example, it consists of files essential to boot your system. Would you now delete it? Surely not!

3. Pagefile.sys

This is located under the C:root directory and is easily deletable. But, this doesn’t mean you should. It is a paging file that your Windows uses when your physical RAM gets full. Wondering what bad can happen if you delete the Pagefile. sys? Your system might face frequent crashes and freezes, you might encounter sudden shutdowns and your system files will get severely damaged.

4. Windows Folder

The name of the folder is sufficient enough to warn you of the aftermath of deleting it. Let’s just say every single file or folder that Windows Folder contains is crucial for your operating system and the various applications installed.

What’s the worst thing that can happen, if you mistakenly modify or delete it? You may never be able to boot your computer again unless you reinstall your Windows OS or get it repaired.

5. WinSxS

WinSxS or Windows Side By Side. It is responsible for resolving compatibility issues with Windows old versions and it even consists of important library files related to programs. It is better to not touch it at all.

The only safe way to delete it if it takes space is to use the Disk Cleanup tool and not to take matters into your hands.

Best Way To Manage Disk Space on Windows

It’s sometimes not a wise move to meddle with the storage space by deleting files and folders manually. As you can see from the above-listed files and folders, removing the wrong one can wreak havoc on your system. You can instead, take the aid of third-party tools that can help you with managing disk space most prudently and correctly and one such tool is Disk Analyzer Pro.

Disk Analyzer Pro helps analyze what’s taking up storage space on your computer. Its interface lets you have a comprehensive look at all the folders and files in the drive you have selected. The tool even makes it easy for you to track down redundant and large files as well. It also sorts files into categories like junk files, old files, big files, etc. furthermore, you can perform functions like renaming, previewing, copying, moving files, and do a lot many things with the help of Disk Analyzer Pro.

Here’s how Disk Analyzer Pro works

Download and install Disk Analyzer Pro

Wait for the scan to finish

Here you will now be able to statistically see what’s taking up storage space on your PC

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How To Delete Recent Files And Folders In Windows 11/10

In this post, we will show you how to remove or clear Recent Files and Folders auto-suggest history items from Explorer Address bar, using Settings, Explorer Options, Registry, or freeware in Windows 11/10.

Clear Recent Files and Folders in Windows 11/10

You can delete Recent Files and Folders in Windows 11/10, using the following methods:

Using Folder Options

Using Settings

Using Registry Editor

Via Explorer address bar

Delete contents of the Recent items folder

Using a free tool.

Let us take a look at each of these options.

Clear File Explorer Address Bar History 1] Delete Recent Files and Folders using Folder Options Windows 11

In Windows 11, the process to open the Folder options box is a bit different from that in Windows 10. We have explained below the process to delete recent files and folders via Folder Options for both Windows 11 and Windows 10 OS.

The steps for Windows 11 users to open Folder Options for deleting recent files and folders are as follows:

Windows 10

To delete all File Explorer History in Windows 11/10:

Open Folder Options or File Explorer Options as it is now called

Under the General tab locate Privacy

Read: Remove items from the Frequent Places list in File Explorer.

2] Remove Recent Files and Folders using Settings Windows 11

In Windows 11, you can use the following steps to delete recent files and folders using the Settings app:

Type settings app press Enter.

Turn off the button next to the Show recently opened items in Start, Jump Lists, and File Explorer option.

Windows 10

To do this using the Settings app:

Open Windows 10 Settings

Select Personalization settings

Locate Show recently opened items in Jump Lists on Start or the taskbar

Turn it Off and then turn it On.

Read: Remove Most Used list from the Start Menu in Windows.

3] Remove Recent Files and Folders using Registry Editor

You can also use the Windows Registry:

Press Win+R to bring up the Run dialog box. Type regedit and hit Enter.

Next, in the window that opens, navigate to the following path:

HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerTypedPaths

In the right-side panel, you will see url1, url2, etc corresponding to various URLs or paths.

This way, you can delete one, more or all of the items.

Read: How to clear Most Recently Used (MRU) lists in Windows, Office.

4] Delete Recent Files and Folders via Explorer address bar

5] Delete contents of the Recent items folder

You can also clear recent files & folders by deleting the contents of the Recent items folder:

Open Explorer and navigate to:

%APPDATA%MicrosoftWindowsRecent Items

The exact location is:

Select all the contents of this folder and delete them.

6] Use a free tool

Try the popular freeware CCleaner and see if you like it. You can also download and use the freeware MRU Blaster from its home page.

How do I clear recent files in Windows?

Both Windows 11 and Windows 10 operating systems come with some options to delete recent files and folders. Some of these options include the use of the Settings app, Registry Editor, File Explorer address bar, etc. We have explained all these methods to clear recent files and folders for both Windows 11/10 above in this article.

How do I get rid of Quick access recent files?

In Windows 11/10, there is a Quick access section on the navigation pane of File Explorer. This section shows some recently opened files and folders. If you want to delete or get rid of recent files from the Quick access menu, you have to clear the File Explorer history.

The easiest way to do that is by using the Folder Options box. We have explained how to clear recent history using the Folder Options box in File Explorer above in this article.

Read next: How to delete items from the Recent Picture list in Microsoft Paint.

Hope this helps.

You Can Now Add Folders In Windows 11’S Pinned Apps Section

You can now add folders in Windows 11’s pinned apps section

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Dev Channel Insiders just got a new build they can test for the latest operating system.

The ability to create and manage folders in a section of the Start menu is being tested.

Users can become more productive thanks to the improved focused sessions features.

Also added with this build are Live captions, which are embedded for better accessibility.

It’s the Beta Channel Insiders turn to sit on the sidelines and watch as the opposing team receives the new ball this week, after receiving an update only a few days ago.

Thus, after two weeks with no Dev channel releases whatsoever, the Redmond-based tech company has finally unveiled build 22557.

You might want to know that this Dev channel release is now moving to the NI_RELEASE or Nickel branch in preparation for the major feature update to Windows 11 later this year.

However, before we get into it and discover together what Microsoft changed via this latest software patch, we’re going to take a look at the TLDR section:

Windows Insiders will notice that the name of the branch we are releasing builds from has changed to NI_RELEASE. The branch in which we release builds from to Insiders in the Dev Channel is irrelevant to the features and improvements included within them. Going forward we will no longer be noting when these branch changes occur. For more on our approach to how we release things to the Dev Channel, please read this blog post here.

This build will not be offered to ARM64 PCs. We hope to be able to offer a new build for Insiders on ARM64 PCs soon.

This build includes a handful of new features for Insiders to try including folders in the pinned apps area of Start, live captions, a new Focus experience, Quick Access improvements in File Explorer, new touch gestures, and a lot more.

This build also includes a lot of general improvements and refinements to Windows 11 too.

We do have some new known issues for some of the new features and improvements being introduced with this build so be sure to read through the known issues below before submitting feedback.

We’re making it quicker to get to your recent Android apps on your phone from the Your Phone app. Details below.

Join us on Tuesday, February 22nd at 10am PST / 6pm UTC for our next Windows Insider webcast! We’ll discuss “Filing Feedback on the Difficult Bugs”, we’ll talk about logs that can be helpful, and sharing content links you can reference. Mark your calendar and tune in!

You can create and manage folders in the pinned apps section

The tech giant said it went based on user feedback for this feature, therefore it was added to the new Dev Channel build for Windows 11.

We’ve heard from many of you that you’d like to customize your pins in Start by organizing them into folders, so we’re introducing the first version of folders in this build.

All you have to do is drag an app on top of another to create a folder. You can add more apps to a folder, rearrange apps within a folder, and remove apps from a folder.

Microsoft also said it reimagined focus experiences on Windows, with DND and Focus. And while do not disturb makes it easy to silence notifications, Focus is a new experience that enables everyone to stay in the moment.

To help you stay on track, Focus integrates with the Clock app for other focus tools, such as a focus timer and calming music.

Expert tip:

Captions are automatically generated on-device from any content with audio and can be displayed at the top or bottom of the screen, or in a floating window.

The tech giant is rolling out an update to File Explorer’s Quick Access view. First, Pin to Quick Access support has been extended from only supporting Folders to now also supporting Files.

What you might also want to keep in mind is that pinned files are shown in a new section above Recent files in Quick Access.

To help you have control over storage consumption and ensure your files are syncing, we’ve added OneDrive integration into File Explorer.

When browsing your OneDrive folders, you can now see your sync status and quota usage without having to leave File Explorer.

And, for those of you who use the new OS on tablets or phones, this build includes 5 new touch gestures to make it easier and quicker to navigate Windows 11 on a PC with touch.

Among the other additions are improved Snap Layouts, more sustainable power settings and recommendations, Task Manager Redesign & Efficiency Mode, and more improvements to browsing the web in Microsoft Edge with Narrator.

You can read more about all the changes and improvements introduced, as well as known issues, on the official Microsoft blog post.

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Red X On Folders, Files Or Hard Drive In Windows 11/10

According to several reports, a rare error of Local Disk drive partitions has a red circle with an X in their icons. The cause of this error is still unknown, but it usually means that the file folder or disk or contents are not refreshing, updating, or syncing. Several methods help in troubleshooting this error. The main thing to note here is that it can occur on local disks, disks mapped on a network as well as files and folders.

Red X on folders, files or Hard Drive

If you see the red X icon overlay then following these suggestions may help you. If it is happening for desktop icons, simply refreshing the desktop could help:

Reinstall your Cloud service app

Disconnect the drive in case of Mapped drives

Update your computer and BIOS.

Run CHKDSK.

Clear icon cache.

Disable Hard disk Write Protect.

Scan with an Antivirus.

If it is just OneDrive?

If you have OneDrive, Dropbox, etc. installed on your computer, then it might be the one causing this issue.

You need to either update these software or if that doesn’t help, uninstall it and fresh-install its latest version.

2] Disconnect the drive in case of Mapped drives

Open the Windows File Explorer.

On the top ribbon, select the down arrow and select Disconnect network drive.

It will open a new dialog box which will list the letters allocated to partitions mapped will be listed.

Select OK.

And now all the Mapped drives will be disconnected.

You can then Map it back if there is a need.

Read: How to remove Green Check Marks on Desktop Icons in Windows

3] Update your computer and BIOS

You need to update your copy of Windows 10 and then update your computer’s BIOS.

Reboot your computer. This has proven to have fixed this error for many.

4] Run CHKDSK

We will use the command line to run ChkDsk. Run CMD as an Administrator and execute the following command:

It will either start checking for errors and fixing them, or it will show up a message saying –

Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another process, Would you like the schedule this volume to be checked the next time the system restarts? (Y/N)

Hit Y for scheduling the Disk Check the next time the system restarts.

Reboot your computer and let the chkdsk run.

See if this has helped.

5] Clear icon cache

To clear the Icon cache, open the Windows Task Manager.

Run the Windows Command Prompt as an Admin.

Execute the following commands in the given order:

cd /d %userprofile%AppDataLocal attrib –h IconCache.db del IconCache.db start explorer

Your icon cache will now clear and rebuilt now.

6] Disable Hard disk Write Protect

Some folks have reported that they had to disable Write Protection. See if that helps you.

7] Scan with an Antivirus

Sometimes viruses can damage a file and result in the errors like this too.

8] If it is just OneDrive?

If this error is only visible on the OneDrive icon and in the contents of the OneDrive folder, there might be chances that there is an issue with the OneDrive syncing. This post shows how to fix this & other OneDrive errors.

We hope you found the steps easy to follow and you were successful in resolving the issue.

Audio Distortion In Windows 10; Here Is How You Can Solve This!

Microsoft released Windows 10 in 2024, and it was presented as better in every way over past iterations of Windows. This is partly true due to the fact that Windows 10 focuses more on the regular delivery of security updates. However, when users upgraded to the latest build, they faced an error where there was audio distortion in Windows 10.

We have shown a VIDEO walk through at the end of the post for easy solution.

Since Windows 10 comes with a spatial sound built-in, sometimes extra sound effects may be interfering with your device and causing the error. To turn off enhancements, follow these steps:

Open Control panel either from the desktop icon or from the Run dialog.

Change the view to Large or Small icons if it is previously set to Categories.

Under the Enhancements tab, check the box next to ‘Disable all enhancements’.

This shall disable any enhancements, which were interfering with your audio playback, therefore, causing audio distortion in Windows 10.

Overlapping applications may sometimes interfere with the audio output of each other. This feature can cause many different types of errors in Windows 10, and distorted sound in Windows 10 is one of them. You can try disabling this setting to solve your error.

To remove this permission, follow these steps:

Select Open Volume Mixer from the context menu.

In the Volume Mixer dialog box, you will be able to see the applications that are using the audio devices. Make note of these applications.

Open task manager by pressing together Ctrl + Shift + Esc.

Here, under the processes tab, locate the applications that you noted in the Volume Mixer.

Terminate the applications that you located there.

Go to the Playback

Under the Advanced tab, uncheck the box next to the “Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device.”

Restart your PC.

Now check if the problem persists. This should solve the error on your device.

However, if it does not, you may need to run the audio troubleshooter to diagnose the error.

Windows Troubleshooter can be an easy solution to find any problems with the hardware on your system. You can run the troubleshooter if you see Realtek HD audio distorted sound.

Open the Settings You can use the keyboard shortcut Win + I.

From the left pane, select Troubleshoot.

From the right pane, select Playing audio.

Now just follow the onscreen instructions to find the problems with playing audio and fix them.

The device drivers are the files that enable your hardware device to communicate with the operating system. If you missed or forgot to update your drivers, these outdated drivers can sometimes cause the ‘distorted sound in Windows 10’ error.

To update the audio drivers, follow these steps:

Open a Run dialogue by pressing Win + R.

Type chúng tôi to open the Device Manager.

Wait for Windows to find the updates if available and then follow the onscreen instructions to update your audio drivers.

Next select ‘Sound, video and game controllers’ and update the drivers of the devices available under this section too as mentioned above.

Microsoft DirectX is the collective name for the application programming interfaces, which handle tasks related to multimedia, specifically providing hardware acceleration for heavy multimedia applications such as HD video playback or 3D gaming.

Direct X is also known to cause audio distortion during high-resolution playbacks, which can be attributed to either a corrupt installation or a version mismatch etc. Windows 10 comes with DirectX 12 preinstalled, so you may try reinstalling the DirectX application if the above solutions did not help you.

You can update Direct X using Windows Update since driver and programming interface updates are handled by Windows Update starting from Windows 10. You need to apply and install the latest service pack or platform update, which may be ready to install on your device.

Alternatively, you can visit the Microsoft Download Center and search for DirectX directly there. The Web Installer shall install the missing DirectX files on your computer. Simply run the downloaded installer, and restart your system once the installation finishes, therefore solving your audio distortion in Windows 10 problem.

If the bit rate and frequency that the audio is playing in are not supported by your speakers, you may end up facing the distorted sound in Windows 10 error. To solve this, you need to adjust the in-app audio settings to resolve the audio problems that you are facing. You can start by changing the sound to a 24-bit value, and then adjusting upwards until you find the setting at which you are facing the error.

So there you have it. Now you how to solve the audio distortion in Windows 10 error using one or a combination of the solutions provided above. Comment below if you found this useful, and tell us how you solved the error on your device.

Windows 10 And Your Privacy: What You Need To Know

In my last article, I gave you a list of reasons why you should wait for Windows 10. Among those reasons, I mentioned privacy, and I gave a quick overview of all the information that Cortana collects on you, the user.

Some could argue that Cortana’s collection of information is reasonable. After all, it’s a personal assistant; of course it needs a lot of information. But even with these apparent rationalizations, Windows 10 has a lot of shady data collection going on that you should be aware of.

This is all from Microsoft’s own Privacy Statement, by the way.

1. Input Personalization Is Essentially a Keylogger

A “keylogger” is software that records keystrokes you make on your keyboard. It’s considered one of the most dangerous kinds of malware, especially for business users, as a keylogger can capture all kinds of important personal information from your passwords to your credit card numbers to literally everything you say.

Microsoft uses Input Personalization to provide functionalities like auto-correct and personalized user dictionaries. While some would say “fair enough” – and, after all, this can be disabled if you’re uncomfortable – this is the default setting on Windows 10 and something that many users will unknowingly have enabled without knowing the full implications of it.

Just some food for thought.

2. Device Encryption Stores Your Key Online

BitLocker is a Windows feature introduced in the old days of Windows Vista, allowing users to encrypt their computer’s hard drives. This feature came in Enterprise, Server and Ultimate Windows editions and were mostly left out of the common home user’s hands.

Using Windows 10’s integrated device encryption, Windows will generate a recovery key that is backed up online in your Microsoft account. This means that if that account is compromised, this data (and therefore your computer’s data) can be accessed, whether by malicious third parties, Microsoft themselves or federal authorities.

If you really want to keep your drive secure, don’t use BitLocker.

3. Cortana Knows Everything About You

Here’s a simplified list of everything Cortana collects.

Device location

Calendar data

App usage, including time used and how often you use them

Data from emails and texts

Contact information- who you call and how often you interact with them

Music library, what you look at and buy, your browsing history, etc.

Now, make no mistake: Cortana uses all of these features to carry out its purpose. Collecting Email and text data, for instance, is so that you can set calendar events with Cortana, or she can automatically remind you to set certain reminders.

However, there’s still the fact that all of this information is being collected by Microsoft. This would be the Microsoft that sends everything they have on you to the NSA, even if you aren’t in the United States. It’s more food for thought, especially as we proceed to the following.

4. Telemetry Is Terrifying (And Can’t Be Disabled)

What’s telemetry, you may be asking, I’ve never heard of it.

Telemetry is a new feature integrated into Windows 10. Nobody actually knows for sure what it collects, but here’s a speculated list of what it’s grabbing from your computer and sending to Microsoft at all times:

Device information: model, processor info, display info, etc.

All software and drivers installed on the device, plus all hardware connected to it

Performance data: if apps have issues, how well they run, etc.

App data: how long apps are used, how often they’re used, what you use the most, etc.

Network data: this includes your IP address, the connections you’re using and information about the networks you’re using, whether Wi-Fi, wired or mobile

Telemetry is supposedly used to collect usage info and statistics. You’ve probably seen something like it whenever previous versions of Windows have crashed programs on you. An option to send it to Microsoft is given, keeping the choice in your hands.

This removes that choice from you. Windows 10 Home and Pro users can’t disable Telemetry at all, only reduce it. Only Windows 10 Enterprise users can disable Telemetry entirely, which makes sense, because what business in their right mind would have this running?

Those are the main privacy concerns for Windows 10. I didn’t include some concerns other people raised that had to do with Microsoft Edge, as the data collection from Microsoft’s new browser is pretty much the same amount Chrome users get.

Even if you aren’t alarmed by this, I hope you’re at least somewhat more educated by it. It’s always important to know what information you’re giving to those big companies in Silicon Valley, even if you don’t fear the Orwellian worst. They call this the Information Age for a reason.

Christopher Harper

I’m a longtime gamer, computer nerd, and general tech enthusiast.

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