CAUTION added on 2016/6/14: Per the comments below, C:\Users\Public should NOT be deleted! So my entitled question and the answer can damage your computer.

As depicted in the screenshot below, I need and use only the folder 'Y' and need not 'Public'.
But Windows 10 refuses to allow me to delete it, though I am evidently the Administrator (because my computer has only one account and it has Administrator status).

enter image description here

  • 7
    The machine needs it to store configuration files that are common to all users. Deleting it will break Windows.
    – bwDraco
    Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 2:16
  • 1
    As @bwDraco stated, this would not be wise. There's a reason why Windows is trying to protect you.
    – Dale
    Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 2:29
  • 1
    Can you explain why you want to do this? See meta.stackexchange.com/questions/66377/what-is-the-xy-problem
    – bwDraco
    Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 16:35
  • 2
    Related sadness from somebody who accidentally did this. Don't do it. You could set the hidden or system attributes on the Public folder if you really don't want to see it.
    – Ben N
    Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 16:46
  • Thank you all for your comments above: I shall not delete it then, and shall await an answer that advises against it.
    – user269574
    Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 17:08

3 Answers 3


Descriptively, the answer by user 'Peter' answers the entitled question, but I have not selected it because pursuing and effecting my entitled question would damage your computer. I did upvote it to thank this user for his effort.

So normatively, the correct answer is: DO NOT DELETE C:\Users\Public.

  • 1
    ...but you can still safely hide it if your motive is cosmetic/clutter reduction - see @fyi answer below for more details
    – DaveRandom
    Commented Jul 13, 2019 at 1:21

Right-click on the Public folder and go to Properties. In the security tab, click Advanced. Go to the Owner tab and change ownership of folder to Administrator (or whoever you want).

Once you have ownership, you can grant full control permissions for your user, then delete the public folder.

  • 8
    Warning: This is a bad answer. Deleting this folder will break Windows.
    – DavidPostill
    Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 12:19
  • 4
    It answers the question on how to delete the folder C:\Users\Public. Instructions are correct, regardless of what breaks in Windows.
    – Peter
    Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 16:02
  • 4
    <shrug> The OP needs to be warned that it is a dumb thing to do.
    – DavidPostill
    Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 16:37

You can simply hide the Public folder instead of breaking anything by deleting it... Right-click on Public folder, click properties, under Attributes check the box 'Hidden' and click apply. Now the folder will be hidden and out of sight.

  • 1
    Agreed, hiding is probably a better solution than deleting a fundamental part of the Windows system. Commented Feb 1, 2018 at 16:33
  • If you have "view hidden folders" enabled in explorer, you can also safely "super-hide" it (or at least, I did it ages ago and have yet to encounter a problem). From an elevated command prompt, run attrib +s +h "C:\Users\Public" - this sets the "hidden" and "system" attributes, making the file invisible in explorer unless both "show hidden" and "show system" are set. This is a very old (and very Googlable) trick - it is generally safe in most scenarios, but further research is encouraged if you are unsure.
    – DaveRandom
    Commented Jul 13, 2019 at 1:14

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