What is System Volume Information Folder?

Every drive on a Windows PC (even removable one) has an intriguing System Volume Information folder. If your PC shows hidden files on the Windows Explorer, you probably have seen System Volume Information folder many times. Usually, Windows does not allow you to open it which in turn causes a lot of confusion amid less-experienced users. Are you wondering what System Volume Information folder on Windows 10 stands for? Look no more.

System Volume Information – What is it?

Let’s make things clear: this is not a sign of viruses on your PC. It is a normal system folder needed for the proper work of many vital features of the file system on modern Windows computer.

System Volume Information

System Volume Information folder contains many important data. For example, there are Windows restore points (if you have this feature enabled). Windows restore points are the main reason why the folder is large and takes a lot of space on your drive. You can decrease the size of this folder by changing Windows restore point settings or deleting existing points. Needless to say, you can’t simply Shift + Delete this folder. Windows simply won’t let you do this. As we told before, System Volume Information has many important data and Windows keeps it safe by preventing accidental deletion.

Restore points is not the only reason why System Volume Information folder exists. It also contains information for Windows Indexing service. This service is responsible for instant search in the Explorer within your drives. In addition, System Volume Information has important bits of data for Volume Shadow Copy and Distributed Link Tacking service.

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You can pop open System Volume Information folder if your drive is formatted in exFAT/FAT32. You will find inside files IndexerVolumeGuid and WPsettings.dat. Indexer Volume Guid assigns a unique identifier for the drive where it is stored. Windows Indexing service checks files on the drive and makes them searchable. As to WPsettings.dat file… nobody knows what this file does. For now, let’s keep it as it is.

How to open System Volume Information folder? There is no way to open it on NTFS drive. Yes, you can mess around with permissions but we strongly against that. You can open this folder only if your drive is formatted in exFAT/FAT32.

How to Delete System Volume Information Directory?

Let us repeat this again: do not mess with this folder. You won’t be able to delete the folder on NTFS drive. You can delete it on exFAT/FAT32, but Windows will bring it back next time it needs it. Most of the time System Volume Information folder appears right after you delete it.

Can’t deal with this? Simply uncheck “Hidden items” checkbox in the File Explorer ribbon and you are good to go.

How to Clean up Large System Volume Information?

Sometimes the folder becomes too big, too large (up to tens of gigabytes). In such a scenario you can clean it up using proper methods defined by Windows developers and not by brute forcing Shift + Delete.

Here is what you need to do to fix large System Volume Information:

  1. Turn off Windows restore points and delete existing points.
  2. Turn off File history feature.
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That’s it.

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