Files We Can Safely Get Rid Of


We're often asked which files can be safely removed from a Windows 95/98 system to recover needed disk space.

Here's a short list of the files that you can make disappear without disastrous ramifications. Keep in mind that in certain circumstances you may want to create a folder and name it something like "Delete" so that instead of deleting the files entirely, you can move them to this "Delete" folder. Then, when you've run your computer for several days or a few weeks without encountering any related problems, it is probably safe to get rid of everything in that "Delete" folder. To find these files, use the Find, Files and Folders from the Start Button and type in "*.XXX" with .XXX being the listed extension. Make sure you search your entire computer instead of simply one folder!

.CHK -- Scandisk backup file. If there are lost clusters found when you run Scandisk, these files will be created. They will not come back, but new ones can be created with future Scandisk uses.

.GRP -- Program Manager Group file. If you never use Program Manager anymore, why keep these around? They will not come back, but an install program could create new ones.

.GID -- HELP-related file. When you run a Help file, it creates a "GID" to make future accesses to that particular help file faster. They are a complete waste of space, and usually one of the worst disk-hog offenders. You'll have to delete these on a regular basis, as they are recreated with every Help file execution.

.FTS -- HELP-related file. When you perform a search with a Help file, this is created to make all future perform faster. You may not need these unless you use HLP files on a daily basis. They will reappear if you do a search in a HLP file. You should search for these on a regular basis and delete them.

.CNT -- HLP-related file. Ever notice those tables of contents when you launch certain Help files? If you don't need a table to help you navigate through a Help file, delete these. They will not come back.

.AVI -- Movie file. If you already know how to use Windows, and no longer need to refer to these AVI teaching screens don't keep these around. Just becareful not to remove the ones from other programs on your system. Make sure you "watch" them before deleting them, because you might delete a movie you wanted to keep.

.TMP -- Temporary file. When you exit out of Windows without shutting down everything, these files could be littering your hard drive. Typically, they can be found in the \Windows\Temp\ folder. Many programs have temp files to help speed up processes, so at times they are a necessary evil. You might find hundreds of these just waiting to be deleted.

.~MP -- Temporary file. See .TMP above.

.BAK -- Old file. When a new version of a program comes along, sometimes it will rename the old version with a .bak extension. Be careful when removing these files as they may be needed. Investigate before deleting.

.$$$ - Old file. See .BAK above. Usually not needed, but not always verify first.

.OLD -- Old file. See .BAK above. Usually not needed, but not always verify first.
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