I was looking at what files are on my hard disk, and saw that C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming has over 1 GB worth of files under it (found by a dir /s/a command).

What is the purpose of this folder, and is it okay to delete the files and folders under it, or not?

  • 1
    Please take a few minutes to read through the possible duplicate question that I referenced. It will provide you with an excellent perspective regarding your profile folders. Ultimately, the simple answer is "no," unless you have in-depth knowledge of what is contained in that folder hierarchy you probably don't want to delete anything.
    – Run5k
    Apr 1, 2017 at 23:45
  • @Run5k I don't think this question is a duplicate. The other question asks what the difference between "Roaming" and "Local". This one asks what is their purpose.
    – user477799
    Apr 2, 2017 at 9:39
  • @Run5k Thanks your comment, will check that other question too. Apr 2, 2017 at 13:46
  • @FleetCommand, I understand what you're saying and there will always be a bit of subjectivity involved in these assessments. From my perspective, the underlying goal of these two questions is essentially the same and that seems to be the consensus opinion, also.
    – Run5k
    Apr 2, 2017 at 20:23
  • @Run5k Ouch! Your comment of "the consensus opinion" hurts! We both know that it is not true. In closing a question, the opposition vote is only recorded but otherwise ignored. Even if one million persons vote "don't close", the question is closed if five persons vote "close". So, no, it is not the consensus.
    – user477799
    Apr 3, 2017 at 4:00

1 Answer 1


What is the purpose of this directory?

The purpose of this folder is to store data created by apps that you run. A lot of people think apps in Windows store their settings in Windows Registry. They are wrong. Most apps in Windows store their settings here.

Is it okay to delete the files and directories under it, or not?

Doing that does not make your computer go up in smoke. But you will lose precious things likes some of the shortcuts in your Start menu, Microsoft Office templates and Quick Parts, saved games, playlists, indexes, digital certificates, torrents, incomplete downloads, backups, saved passwords, browser profiles, caches and other settings and configurations that you have spent time adjusting to your needs. Some apps will behave as if they are installed just now. You won't be able to play some of your music and videos protected by DRM.

I know I wouldn't want this to happen to my computer.

But clean it up once in a while. You may have had certain apps in the past that are now gone, but their settings are left there.

Just a note: Mine is 7.47 GB. 7 GB of it is occupied by iTunes's backups of my iPhone devices.


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