How to fix large Windows.edb on Windows 10

If you're running out of space and you can't operate your device, it's likely because the Windows.edb file has grown very large – here's how to fix the problem on Windows 10.

Windows 10 Windows.edb fix
Windows 10 Windows.edb fix

On Windows 10, the “Windows.edb” is the database that stores the indexing content for the Windows Search feature to provide faster results for files, emails, and other contents.

Although it’s an essential system file (located in %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Search\Data\Applications\Windows), over time, it can grow very large as you store more files on your device. Also, if you use an email client like Outlook and Search is configured to index a PST file, the size of the Windows.edb database can eventually become a huge file (hundreds of gigabytes), making the system unusable and preventing you from storing any more files.

If you notice that the ProgramData is too big, or you have already identified that the Windows.edb is the reason your computer is running out of space, there are at least two workarounds to reduce the size of the Windows Search database.

This guide will teach you the steps to delete (and reduce the size of) the Windows.edb database file when it has grown very large, you’re running out of space, and you can no longer operate your Windows 10 computer.

Delete Windows.edb file on Windows 10

To delete and recreate the Windows.edb file, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 10.

  2. Click on Search.

  3. Click on Searching Windows.

  4. Click the “Advances Search Indexer Settings” option.

    Searching Windows search indexing option

  5. Click the Advanced button.

    Indexing Options advanced button

  6. Under the “Troubleshooting” section, click the Rebuild button to delete the Windows.edb file.

    Delete and rebuild Windows.edb file

  7. Click the OK button.

  8. Click the Modify button from the “Indexing Options.”

  9. Clear the Microsoft Outlook option.

    Windows Search stop indexing emails (PST)

  10. Click the OK button.

  11. Click the Close button.

Once you complete the steps, the Windows.edb file will be deleted and replaced with a new smaller version to index the Windows Search database file returning the “ProgramData” folder and Windows.edb file to their normal size.

Reduce Windows.edb file size on Windows 10

Alternatively, if you don’t want to rebuild the index database on Windows 10, you can defrag the Windows.edb to reduce its size.

To defragment the Windows.edb database to reduce its size on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  3. Type the following command to prevent Windows Search from starting automatically and press Enter:

    sc config wsearch start=disabled
  4. Type the following command to stop the search service and press Enter:

    net stop wsearch
  5. Type the following command to defrag the Windows.edb file to make it smaller and press Enter:

    esentUtl.exe /d %AllUsersProfile%\Microsoft\Search\Data\Applications\Windows\Windows.edb

    Reduce the size of Windows.edb with defragmentation

  6. Type the following command to delay the Windows Search during startup and press Enter:

    sc config wsearch start=delayed-auto
  7. Type the following command to start the search service on Windows 10 and press Enter:

    net start wsearch

    Restart Windows Search service on Windows 10

After you complete the steps, the process should reduce the size of the Windows.edb file reclaiming a lot of space on the hard drive making your device operational one more time.

If you don’t have a lot of files but you use the Outlook app, it’s also recommended to reduce the number of emails that client downloads to prevent the database from growing too big quickly.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 15 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 21 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].