What is Windows.edb? Can I Delete It Or Change Its Location?

The Windows.edb is a database file of the indexing service. If you have enabled Windows Indexing, this file can become quite large. Is it safe to delete this file? More after the break.


Tip: The Windows Search Indexing can cause a lot of high disk activity. You can disable the service and use programs like Search Everything instead.
As mentioned in the intro, if you use the Windows Search feature a lot, you might not want to delete the Windows.edb file or your searches might become slower. On a sidenote, you can also use tools like Search Everything that might be faster than the built-in Window Search or replace the Windows 7 search with FileSeek. This is up to you and you need to decide this for yourself.

Is it safe to delete the Windows.edb file?

When you try to delete Windows.edb without disabling the Windows Search service first, you’ll get the error above.

Yes, it is perfectly safe to delete it. You first need to disable the Windows Indexing service and then you can delete the .edb file.

1. Step First of all, learn how to disable Windows Indexing

2. Step Next, make sure you can see hidden folders

3. Step Open the Windows Explorer and go to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Search\Data\Applications\Windows which is the default location of the Windows.edb file (it is a hidden folder)

4. Step Delete the Windows.edb file

How to change Windows.edb Index location

If the Windows.edb is becoming too large or you want to significantly speed up your Windows searches by moving the file onto a SSD you can move the Windows.edb file and change its default location.

1. Step Enter Indexing Options into the search field on your Start menu
2. Step Click on Indexing Options
3. Step Click on Advanced at the bottom
Advanced Indexing Options

4. Step Click on Select New and find a new location for your Windows.edb file
Change Windows.edb File Location

5. Step Click on OK and wait until Windows restarted the Windows Indexing service (will take 5 seconds)

6. Step Do NOT change the location to C:\ because this will not work, it needs to be a subdirectory

Rebuild Windows.edb Index

1. Step Enter Indexing Options into the search field on your Start menu
2. Step Click on Indexing Options
3. Step Click on Advanced at the bottom
Advanced Indexing Options

4. Step Click on Rebuild and it will rebuild the index (after your confirmation):

Rebuild Windows Search Index

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- Cheers!


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Oliver is the founder and lead editor of this site. He is interested in finding new ways to break Windows, find common errors and help others to fix them. Aside from that, he loves to fully customize systems with Rainmeter and Dreamscene, find out more about ancient civilizations like the Chachapoya, sharpen his digital photography skills and create software with a small group of selected developers. If you would like to connect with him to discuss anything, send him a mail!

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2 Responses to What is Windows.edb? Can I Delete It Or Change Its Location?

  1. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    mesa said:

    hi,

    i was wandering if you could help with edb files please? I have 2 of them located on C: drive and they are about 1.7 Gb in total which I found rather annoying (too much space wasted) and I wanted to delete them but not sure if this is safe thing to do as I do not want to mess up Windows

    any help would be much appreciated

  2. Orange Community Approved Comment:
    Pkmmte said:

    How do you do this with Windows 8 Customer Preview?
    This file is currently taking up 32GB in total and I seriously don’t want this.

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