How to Delete Windows Log Files

By Tammy Columbo

The Windows operating system records events, errors and other operations in temporary log files that are saved on the hard drive. Over time, these log files can grow to be quite large and they can consume a great deal of hard drive space.You can reclaim disk space and delete old log files using the Disk Cleanup utility, installed by default with all Windows installations. Use the Clean Up System Files option in the Disk Cleanup wizard to delete Windows Update log files and additional system logs.

Disk Cleanup Tool

Step 1

Type “Admin” into the Search box in the Windows Charms bar, then click “Administrative Tools” when the option appears on the desktop.

Step 2

Click the “Disk Cleanup” option to launch the tool. The Drive Selection box opens.

Step 3

Click the drive letter for the drive to clean, and then click “OK.” The Disk Cleanup tool scans your drives and then the utility dialog box opens.

Step 4

Click the check box in front of each option you wish to delete. Log files you can select from this dialog box include Debug Dump files, Setup Log Files, System Error Memory Dump files, error reports, thumbnails, user history files, temporary Internet files, offline Web pages and downloaded program files. The tool will only allow you to select and delete files that are safe to delete.

Step 5

Click the “OK” button, and then click “Delete Files” to run the cleanup utility and delete the old logs.

Clean Up System Files

Step 1

Launch the Disk Cleanup utility, and then select the hard drive to clean. Click “OK.”

Step 2

Click the “Drives” drop-down arrow, then click the drive that contains the system files. The Drive Cleanup wizard launches.

Step 3

Check the check box in front of each log file type you wish to delete, then click “OK.”

Step 4

Click “Delete Files" to remove the log files from the hard drive.

Tips & Warnings

  • The Disk Cleanup utility enables you to safely delete temporary Internet files, error files and other old data.
  • Microsoft advises that you do not attempt to manually delete log files. Using the Disk Cleanup utility will keep crucial system files safe from deletion.
  • Information provided in these steps applies to Microsoft Windows 7 and 8.x. Instructions may vary slightly or significantly for other versions of Windows.