Got a Vista laptop with Wubi Ubuntu installed (read: Ubuntu on virtual disks located on the NTFS partition). I only use Ubuntu, but the disk performance is so poor that I want to switch to a normal partition install.

The problem is that the disk was quite full in it's time (~8 GB were free from 130GB), so the USN journal is scattered all over the disk, and since it's unmovable, making the disk partition impossible.

The only thing I can do is to delete it. I looked at a number of sites, Microsoft's Technet counted, but I still don't really understand the risks of the deleting the journal.

What am I risking? Would you recommend doing it?

  • Note that the NTFS journal and the USN journal aren't the same thing. The former is used by the file system itself for reliability; the latter is used by userspace programs for change monitoring. Oct 2, 2014 at 16:03

2 Answers 2


The USN journal's purpose is to provide a complete list of filesystem changes to various userspace programs like virus scanners or file indexers (e.g. "Everything").

You can safely delete this journal, using fsutil on Windows, or rm on Linux (ntfs-3g):

fsutil usn deletejournal C:

It's a good idea to recreate it later though:

fsutil usn createjournal m=0 a=0 C:

Do not confuse the change/USN journal with the one used by NTFS itself, which is kept in $LogFile. The NTFS journal (log) is a required component, used to prevent filesystem corruption.

  • Thanks. I already feel a bit more confident (I'll still do a complete disk backup though, just to be sure). Question though: won't the journal recreate itself automatically? Oct 3, 2014 at 12:54
  • 1
    It works well! On Windows 11, the command is like so: fsutil usn deletejournal /D C:
    – Harry
    Jun 13 at 0:04

The correct command line to delete the USN journal is: fsutil usn deletejournal /D C:

  • 2
    Add a little more detail and explain why this is different than the other answer and why this should be an answer rather than a comment to ask the person that answered to fix something like perhaps a simple oversight on a switch or parameter of the command. Jan 4, 2018 at 13:24

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