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Trying to make sapce on my C drive. I see that my Appdata/Local/Packages folder is almost 20GB!

Is it safe to delete this? If not, can it be 'pruned' without affecting installed applications?

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    No it is not safe, Even if you delete this folder it will be recreated, but you will also lose all your applications stored data. If your willing to lose ALL of your settings (Outlook emails, browser profiles) feel free but like I said the data will return
    – Ramhound
    Aug 4, 2017 at 19:35
  • You can use WindDirStat and use your best judgement to examine the contents and delete non-critical files. For example iTunes has 2.6GB of "logs" - deleted that garbage pronto.
    – Rolf
    Nov 10, 2023 at 18:17

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AppData folders store per-user information for applications, so if you delete files from an application's applications data directory, it will likely have to recreate that data from default values. In effect the program will forget that you have used it before, configuration choices you may have made, saved files (like game savefiles), etc.

I would recommend you use a tool like windirstat to determine where the space is being used, and what application(s) rely on it. From there you can then begin to determine the impact of your proposed deletion.

See here for some more information related to your query: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2690709/windows/whats-in-the-hidden-windows-appdata-folder-and-how-to-find-it-if-you-need-it.html

As commented, some applications like WSL and apps from the windows store will rely heavily on Application Data storage, to the extent that deleting the files from App Data is akin to uninstalling the application (in a clumbsy, unclean way), so understanding the way a particular app uses Application Data is quite important when determining what you can remove.

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    An important example of an application that you absolutely would not want to delete the Package data for is Windows Subsystem Linux (WSL): It stores the entire emulated Linux filesytem root inside the AppData/Local/Packages folder. See howtogeek.com/261383/… If you're using WSL and delete the Packages subfolders, say goodbye to your entire Linux filesystem.
    – pygosceles
    Sep 6, 2019 at 18:22
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    Yet on the other hand we have Microsoft's Zune Video and Kandy Crush Saga... I have deleted a lot of folders from Packages before (guided by WinDirStat) and there really is some junk. May 18, 2021 at 5:37
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    I use WinDirStat and I've never seen a feature that tells me what uses a folder/file?
    – avgvstvs
    Oct 27, 2023 at 15:01
  • @avgvstvs, You are correct that Windirstat cannot and will not try to tell you what applications use a given folder. Most of the time you can tell which app uses a given %appdata% directory just by looking at its path (eg AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Acrobat). the thing you are looking to get from windirstat, is what folders are heavy, and as you observe them, you can generally tell what application they are related to. Oct 30, 2023 at 19:45
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If you use Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) you will blow away your entire file system for any linux distribution used if you delete this folder.

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