This article will explain to you what the DriverStore folder in Windows 10 is and how to clean it up.
When running a third-party app for cleaning the system drive, you might notice that the DriverStore and FileRepository folders take several gigabytes of space on your drive. You may reasonably ask: is it safe to delete the DriverStore folder in Windows? How to clean the FileRepository directory?
What are FileRepository and DriverStore Folders in Windows?
The FileRepository folder within the DriverStore directory is a place where Windows keeps copies of various drivers for various devices. Windows can install those drivers without Administrator privileges. Besides, those are not the drivers Windows is currently using. They are older versions for a driver rollback, drivers for the devices you used earlier, etc.
The more you use your computer, and the more driver updates you install, the bigger the FileRepository folder becomes.
DriverStore FileRepository Cleanup
We do not recommend deleting the FileRepository folder and its contents altogether. If you need to reclaim some storage on the system drive, try using system utilities for the disk cleanup. If the FileRepository folder gets insanely large (10GB and more) and you cannot free some space using other methods, proceed with the following steps:
- On Windows 11, press Win + X and select Windows Terminal (Admin). On Windows 10, launch Command Prompt with elevated privileges (Run as Administrator).
- Enter the following command:
pnputil.exe /e > C:\Drivers.txt
That command will generate a list of all the drivers Windows stores in the FileRepository folder.
- Open the Drivers.txt files and note the oemXX.inf strings. You need those numbers to remove unnecessary drivers for the FileRepository cleanup.
- Go back to Windows Terminal or Command Prompt and enter the following command:
pnputil.exe /d oemXX.inf
Replace XX with the numbers of the driver to delete. Repeat this step for all the drivers you want to remove.
You can begin with removing old GPU drivers. Those usually have the chunkiest files, with each driver reaching up to half a gigabyte. We recommend deleting only drivers you can recognize, such as GPU, audio, peripherals, etc. Do not remove unknown drivers.
How to Manually Delete the DriverStore FileRepository Folders?
Some blogs might recommend you perform the DriverStore FileRepository cleanup manually. In other words, Shift + Delete those folders. We strongly advise against that to prevent potential stability issues in Windows that may happen after changing owners and permissions for the DriverStore and FileRepository folders.
Using the method described in this article might look tedious, but that is the only proper way to delete the DriverStore and FileRepository folders.