System error memory dump files also known as Win dump files are memory dump files created by Windows when a system crash occurs. They come in two major forms: memory.dmp and minidump, and are suitable for diagnosing the error that caused their creation.
While useful, these files, especially memory.dmp, have large sizes and take up space on the hard drive. Therefore, they can be a problem for regular Windows users.
To be a step ahead, many users want an answer to the question, should we delete win dump files? And, if possible, how to delete them.
Here, you will learn everything you need to know about Win dump files, whether to delete them
, and the different methods you can use.
Table of Contents
What are Win Dump Files?
When the Windows OS crashes, it flashes the BSOD (Blue Screen of Death), showing the “just collecting some error info” message. At this point, the OS collects information from running applications, drivers, memories, etc., to create the Win dump files, also known as crash dumps files.
Therefore, Win dump files contain information suitable for diagnosing the causes of a system crash.
The information collected during the system crash determines the type of Win dump files formed. Depending on their types, Win dump files are suitable to different degrees in diagnosing and identifying system errors that led to the system crash.
Types of Memory Dumps Files
Here are the main types of memory dump files created during a system crash:
Complete Memory Dump Files
Complete memory dump files are a copy of the entire Windows physical memory when Windows crash, making them the largest Win dump files.
By default, a complete memory dump file is written to %SystemRoot%\Memory.dmp and the old one is overwritten on creating a new one. It is seldom helpful for average users although it can be helpful for developers.
Kernel Memory Dump Files
Kernel memory dump files comprise Windows kernel and hardware abstraction level (HAL) kernel-mode drivers. They have smaller sizes than complete memory dump files as they don’t contain unallocated memory and memory allocated to user-mode applications which can add to their size.
By default, a kernel memory dump file is written to %SystemRoot%\Memory.dmp by default and the old one is overwritten on creating a new one.
Small Memory Dump Files (256kb)
Small memory dump files contain information related to the list of loaded drivers, the running process, and the kernel.
They are the smallest Win dump files and have lesser details and usefulness. A small memory dump file is written to %SystemRoot%\Minidump. However, on creating a new file, the older file is preserved.
Automatic Memory Dump Files
Automatic memory dump files contain the same information as the kernel memory dump files. However, they differed in terms of page file setting (the page file has a system-managed size so that the kernel memory dump is capturable most of the time).
Automatic memory dump files are the default kernel memory dump on Windows 8 and newer versions and are written to %SystemRoot%\Memory.dmp.
Minidump files and memory.dmp files are created when a system crashes. Unlike memory.dmp files, they have a small size as they only contain information such as the same driver files involved in a crash.
Nevertheless, they are the most helpful Win dump files when diagnosing the cause of a system crash.
Minidump files are stored in the C:\Windows\Minidump and are popular with developers as they offer more precise information that helps analyze the causes of a system crash.
Where are Win Dump Files?
When Windows crashes, the system stores all the information running at that point in a single file. The location depends on your system drive.
For Windows XP and newer versions, the system drive is normally Local Disk C. Therefore, the location of memory.dmp will be C:\Windows\memory.dmp. For minidumps or small memory dump files, the location under the same scenario is C:\Window\Minidump.dmp.
Should I Delete Win Dump Files?
Deleting Win dump files depends on the type you are working with The call for deleting win dump files comes majorly because of Memory.dmp files. This is because they take up a large space on the system, especially when running large applications when the error occurs.
For an average user, memory.dmp files are not helpful and they slow down computer performance especially if the computer has low ROM and RAM memory. Therefore, it is better to delete them as they take up space. However, here are a few exceptions.
- Minidump files do not take up space. They also contain essential information about the system error, which can help diagnose. Therefore, if possible, you need to save them.
- For people with a recurring system error, saving and sending any type of Win dump files to Microsoft or service centers can help properly diagnose the system error.
In conclusion, is it safe to delete win dump files? Yes. Deleting them will not affect the proper functioning of your computer. However, they are essential files for those who experience system crashes often.
Note: You need to delete Win dump files regularly, as the system will create them every time your system crash.
How to Delete Win Dump Files
Here are six proven methods you can use to delete Win Dump files without encountering any issues.
Delete Win Dump Files using Settings
Here is a step by step guide on how to delete win dump files using Settings
- Navigate to Settings > System > Storage.
- Click on Temporary files.
- Check System Error Memory Dump Files
- Check System Error Minidump Files box (to delete the minidump)
- Clear the other items and click on Remove files.
Delete System Win Dump Files using Command Prompt
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to delete memory.dmp files with Command Prompt:
- Open and run Command Prompt as administrator.
- Type del /f /s /q %systemroot%\memory.dmp press Enter
Delete Win Dump Files using Third-party Space Analyzer
You can also use the MiniTool Partition Wizard’s Space Analyzer to delete the system error memory dump files on your computer. It is a 100% safe and reliable feature of the software and has an excellent user interface that gives a better view of the hard drive space usage.
Download the software and use these step-by-step guides to find and delete the win dump files on your computer.
- Open the Application: Click on Space Analyzer on the main interface to launch it.
- Scan the Partition: Choose the drive where your OS was installed (usually C) and click on Scan. Then wait for scanning to complete (this might range from minutes to hours).
- Click on DMP Files: Double-click the .dmp file extension located at the right panel.
- Delete the DMP Files: Right-click on memory.dmp and choose Delete (Permanently). On successful deletion, close the Space Usage Analyzer.
Delete the Dump Files from the File Location
You can also delete the system error memory dump files manually using the Windows File Explorer. From the explanation above, you already know the file path for the types of Win dump files we have. Here are detailed steps.
- Open the Control Panel
- Click on System. Then, Click on Advanced System Settings.
- Under Startup and Recovery, click on Settings.
- Click on the drop-down menu under the Write debugging information
- Choose the dump files and check their location.
- Copy the system dump file location(%SystemRoot%\Minidump for Minidump files and %SystemRoot%\MEMORY.DMP for the complete, kernel, and automatic dump files)
- Press Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog box
- Paste the copied dump file location press Enter.
- Select the files. Click on Delete and grant access to Delete Files.
- Restart your PC, and the dump files will disappear.
Delete Win Dump Files Using Disk Cleanup
Here is a step by step guide on how to delete win dump files with Disk Cleanup:
- Open Disk Cleanup and Click on Run as Administrator
- Click on Clean Up System Files
- Check the System Error Memory dump Files
- Click on OK and confirm Delete
Delete Dump Files via Extended Disk Cleanup Utility
If the normal Disk Cleanup Tool does not work, use the Extended Disk Cleanup utility. Here is a step-by-step guide on deleting files using the extended Disk Cleanup Utility.
- Run Command Prompt as an administrator
- Type the following commands and press Enter
- cmdexe /c Cleanmgr /sageset:65535
- Cleanmgr /sagerun:65535
- This will prompt the Disk Cleanup Settings window.
- Select the system error memory dump files and click OK.
System Error Memory Dump Files FAQs
What Are System Error Memory Dump Files in Disk Cleanup?
System error memory dump files are files generated by Windows when your system crashes. They are the files written when the Windows BSOD errors show the message “just collecting some error info.”
System dump files are in two major categories: memory.dmp and minidump located in be C:\Windows\memory.dmp and C:\Window\Minidump.dmp respectively. On analysis, they give information about everything that happens during the crash to identify the culprit responsibly.
How Do I Get Rid of System Error Memory Dump Files?
There are many ways of deleting the system error memory dump files. The most common method involves using the Disk Cleanup. However, it is also possible to use Space Analyzer, Command Prompt, Settings, and Extended Disk Cleanup Utility options to remove the files.
Where Are the System Error Memory Dump Files?
System error memory dump files are divided into memory.dmp and minidump. They are located on the drive on which the OS was installed.
For C drive, the location of the memory.dmp and minidump are C:\Windows\memory.dmp and C:\Window\Minidump.