How to clean FileRepository folder in DriverStore

While cleaning up disk on Windows 10, you can notice that folder FileRepository started taking up too much space (and often it’s a GBs of free space!) and won’t be emptied by using standard cleaning tools.

In this instruction we will take a closer look on what FileRepository folder is, what does it contains and can we safely delete this data to free up some space.

FileRepository content in Windows 10

Folder FileRepository contents copies of device driver packages that are ready to be installed. The Staged Drivers located in DriverStore and can be installed without Administrative privileges.

The full path to the folder:

C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\

While updating drivers by OS or manually, the old drivers can be stored at this folder, they might be used to roll back the driver later. That’s pretty useful, but these files also occupying a lot of free space.

Cleaning up DriverStore \ FileRepository

Basically you can delete all of the folder contents in Windows 10 – but this might be unsecure, and you might face with errors, crashes etc.

The most common situation is when tens or thousands of GBs of disk space is occupied by folder DriveStore — it contains a lot of driver update files for NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards, Realtek sound cards, and, sometimes, regularly driver update files of the plugged-in devices (printers, scanners etc.). You can drastically reduce the size of the folder FileRepository by deleting files with old drivers.

Important. As a precaution, we strongly recommend creating a restore point first before deleting any of the files.

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In case you want to clean up DriverStore folder, follow the steps below:

  1. Press Win and type in Command Prompt. Right click on it and run it as Administrator.
  2. Type in and the command pnputil.exe /e > c:\drivers.txt by clicking Enter.
    pnputil.exe
  3. The command from step 2 will create a file drivers.txt on C: drive with the lists of drivers packages that is stored in folder FileRepository.
    drivers FileRepository
  4. Now you can delete all unnecessary drivers with the help of command pnputil.exe /d oemNN.inf (NN — is a number of drivers file package from drivers.txt, as example oem07.inf). In case the driver is in use, you will see an error while trying delete it.
    pnputil.exe driver package

We recommend you to delete old graphic card’s drivers at first (in Windows 10 you can find info about current version of drivers in Device manager).

drivers version

You can delete older files; that won’t hurt your computer. Also you are free to delete old drivers for other connected devices (printers, scans etc.). It is not recommended to delete unknown system device’s drivers (like Intel, AMD and others).

After the finish check the DriverStore folder – what size does it have now? Most likely, it’s drastically reduced.

Using Driver Store Explorer

The task described above can be also performed with the help of Driver Store Explorer (RAPR) utility, here is a link to download.

Run the program with Administrative privileges and press Enumerate.

driver store explorer

After that, you need to choose packages to delete. Check on them and press Delete Package (drivers that is used by system at the moment won’t be deleted in case you didn’t checked on Force Deletion option.

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Tip. You can choose old drivers automatically by pressing Select Old Drivers button.

How to clean FileRepository folder manually?

Important! Implementing of these instructions can cause crashes in Windows 10 and can damage your system! Do it only on your own risk!

You can delete files in FileRepository manually (but it’s unsecure and not recommended):

  1. Go to folder C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore, right click on FileRepository folder and press Properties.
    FileRepository properties
  2. Go to Security tab and click on Advanced.
    advanced FileRepository
  3. Near Owner field click on Change.
    owner FileRepository
  4. Type in your user name or click Advanced -> Find Now and choose it from the list. Click ОK.
    user group FileRepository
  5. Check on Replace owner on subcontainers and Replace all child object permission entries with inheritable permission entries from this object. Press OK and confirm the operation.
    owner subcontainers FileRepository
  6. Now you will get back to tab Security. Click on Edit under users list.
  7. Press Add… -> Advanced, find your account in the list and choose it. Set Full control permissions to it. Click ОK and confirm the changes. After finish, click OK.
  8. Now the contents of the folder can be deleted manually (some of the files still cannot be deleted because they used by OS at the moment, you can skip them by clicking on the appropriate button).

That’s all! Hope this was useful and helped you to free up some space by cleaning up FileRepository folder.

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