How to Clean Up System Volume Information


Windows stores its system restore points in the System Volume Information folder. By default, this folder is inaccessible; however, the Disk Cleanup utility can be used clear old restore points and to adjust the folder size. The System Restore feature restores your computer to a previous state without affecting personal files, because it does not back up these types of files. This comes in handy when you have a bad program installation or virus or spyware infection.

Windows XP

  • Click on "Start," "Settings," "Control Panel" and "System."

  • Click on the "System Restore" tab in the "System Properties" box.

  • Select the drive, then click "Settings."

  • Move the slider to "1 percent" and click "OK." This adjusts the size of the folder.

  • Repeat for each drive.

  • Click "OK." Close the Control Panel

  • Click on "Start," "Programs," "Accessories," then "System Tools." Click on "Disk Cleanup."

  • Select the drive to clean up. Wait for the computer to calculate the space requirements.

  • Click "Clean up" under the System Restore, then click "Yes." This may take a minute. Click on the "More Options" tab.

  • Click "OK," then "Yes." This cleans up all but the latest restore point.

Windows 7

  • Click "Start," then "Control Panel," then "System." Click "Advanced System Settings."

  • Click the "System Protection" tab. Highlight the desired drive, then click "Configure."

  • Make sure that "Restore system settings and previous versions of files" is checked.

  • Move the slider to "1 percent," then click "Apply."

  • Click "Delete" if you want to delete "all" restore points.

  • Click "Continue," "Close," then "OK."

  • Repeat for other drives. Close the Control Panel.

  • Click on "Start," "All Programs," "Accessories," then "System Tools."

  • Click on "Disk Cleanup." Select the drive to clean up.

  • Click "OK." Check all boxes.

  • Click the "More Options" tab. Click on "Clean up" under the "System Restore and Shadow Copies."

  • Click "Delete," "OK," then "Delete Files." Disk Cleanup will exit when done.

Tips & Warnings

  • Restore points are created by default everyday, whenever a program is installed or uninstalled and whenever a Windows update is installed. Manual restore points can also be created. As the System Volume Information folder fills up, the oldest restore points get replaced by newer restore points. System Restore requires at least 300 megabytes of free space.
  • Except for troubleshooting reasons, it is not recommended to disable System Restore. Be aware that virus-infected programs can be backed up the System Restore feature. This can be prevented by constantly monitoring and regularly scanning with antivirus software.

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