Is It Safe to Delete Log Files?

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Do I need to keep all of the log files created by Windows Update or any other install/uninstall or system-generated procedure? Will they ever be needed again? I see a lot of them in the Windows folder and as far as I can tell, they’re just text files taking up space.

In general, it’s safe to delete log files, but let’s talk about why we have them first.

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What are log files?

Many different applications and operations on your computer generate log files as diagnostic aids; they help you when something goes wrong.

You can often use Notepad to open and read them. In some applications, you can understand what the log says, but for the most part, the content is pretty meaningless to most, and is really intended for support or technical folks.

The important thing to realize is that you may be removing a source of diagnostic information if something goes wrong later.

If things are working and have been for a while, I’ll delete the files. I’ll do that every once and a while, but most of the time, I just leave them. That’s because they’re scattered all over the place. It’s  not worth my time to find and delete them. They’re also taking up very little space in comparison to the disk size.

When log files are a problem

If you are running into space issues, it may be a log file that is causing the problem. In that case, I might start by running a utility like CCleaner. One of the options that it may give you is to delete all of the log files. If you continue to run into disk space issues then of course it means using additional tools and techniques to diagnose the problem.

The bottom line is that the files are typically just fine as they are. You can delete them if you want, but it’s not worth your time, in my opinion. If you’re worried about losing them, back them up first. Copy the files to a CD or another drive and then delete them on your hard drive.

7 comments on “Is It Safe to Delete Log Files?”

  1. I never thought of deleting log files to gain space. Just now I check how much space they take over 141 files. It took me one minute to know they take 21MB. In my view it is no use to delete them. I just need to install a larger hard drive.
    Theo

    • 2 log files on my system totalled up to ~2.5-3 GB size, I deleted everything in that folder save for cbs.log and freed up ~3.5 GB of space.

  2. my C disk is almost full, only less than a gb left. app_RASAPI32 & firefox_RASDLG took space more than 5gb, is it safe to delete both ?

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