How to fix large Windows.db on Windows 11

When your computer is running out of space, and you can't figure out why, it's probably the indexing database taking up the storage hostage. Here's the fix on Windows 11.

Windows 11 fix Windows.db
Windows 11 fix Windows.db / Image: Mauro Huculak
  • To reset the “windows.db” indexing database, open Settings > Privacy & security > Searching Windows > Advanced indexing options, click on “Advanced,” click “Rebuild,” click “OK,” click “Modify,” clear “Microsoft Outlook,” click “OK,” and click “Close.”

On Windows 11, the “Windows.db” is the database containing the indexing information for Windows Search to provide faster results for files, emails, and other contents. The database is essential to the operating system, but sometimes, due to the number of files on the computer, it can unexpectedly start taking up a lot of space. In addition, if you use email clients (such as Outlook) and Windows Search is configured to index a PST file, the size of the “Windows.db” database can also cause the system to run out of storage.

If you notice that your computer is running low on space when you don’t have many files or that the “ProgramData” folder is oddly large in size, Windows 11 offers a way to reduce the size of the database.

This guide will teach you the steps to delete (and reduce the size of) the “Windows.db” database, causing storage issues on Windows 11.

Rebuild Windows.db file to free up space on Windows 11

To delete and recreate the Windows.db file on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 11.

  2. Click on Privacy & security.

  3. Click the Searching Windows tab.

  4. Click on Advanced indexing options under the “Related settings” section.

    Advanced indexing options

  5. Click the Advanced button.

    Indexing Options advanced button

  6. Click the Rebuild button to delete the “Windows.db” file under the “Troubleshooting” section.

    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 system will delete and recreate the “Windows.db” database, freeing up many gigabytes of space on Windows 11.

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].