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.

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 an error.

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

Alternatives: Use SearchEverything or Locate32

Tip: The Windows Search Indexing can cause a lot of high disk activity. You can disable the service if you like and use programs like Search Everything instead. However, please keep in mind that the built-in search will take a long time to process any searches
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.

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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