Recently I've been having issues with my personal laptop's hard drive running out of space.

After scanning my PC with WinDirStat I noticed a file named "Windows.db" (located in C:/ProgramData/Microsoft/Search/Data/Applications/Windows) taking up 116 GB(!) of memory on my hard drive. I believe it's a Windows search index database.

Is it safe to delete this file to free up space?

NOTE: My PC is running on Windows 11.

  • 1
    Before deleting it, try using some tools to see what's inside of it (I think it's an ESE (JET Blue) database, so any ESE database viewer should work), that way you might be able to prevent it from growing that big again (e.g. if because it got stuck in an infinite symlink loop, or started indexing temporary files, etc).
    – Dai
    Mar 3 at 23:38
  • 1
    Also, I think you mean Windows.edb, not Windows.db (EDIT: Ah, I'm wrong: it looks like in Windows 11 they changed it to Windows.db, and it's now a SQLite database, not JET Blue/ESE, hence the filename extension change)
    – Dai
    Mar 3 at 23:39
  • 2
    Does this answer your question? Why my windows search index is 255 GB in size and how do I reduce it? Mar 30 at 1:42

2 Answers 2


It is the database for Windows search indexing indeed. You can either safely:

  1. Rebuild it. Do that by either searching Indexing options or launching them through Control Panel after showing all icons. Then go to Advanced and click Rebuild. Doing that might reduce its size heavily. It will grow later though.
  2. Disable indexing or choose less locations to index. Again go to Indexing options but click Modify this time. Choose only folders that have files that need to be found quickly. Or don't choose anything if you use app like Everything which is generally faster and less space-consuming. Rebuild index after that to make sure it applies the new settings.
  3. Disable Windows Search service temporarily and then delete the file manually. First two options are much more recommended though.

You are correct. The Windows.db file is used for Search Indexing. 116 GB is quite large and rebuilding it will likely result in a much smaller size. For example, mine is only ~800MB.

Delete and Rebuild

You can have Windows delete and rebuild the search index via "Indexing Options" in the Windows "Control Panel":

  1. Open Control Panel and click on the Indexing Options icon
    or: WIN+R then type control.exe srchadmin.dll and click OK
  2. Click on the Advanced button
  3. Click the Rebuild buton

Note: while the Indexing database is being rebuilt, using searches may be very slow or incomplete.

Troubleshoot Windows Search: Performance Tuning

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