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What is the NTUSER.DAT File and Should It Be Removed (2023)

Here's a guide that explains what is NTUSER.DAT file and should you remove it from your Windows 10/11 PC or not.

While browsing your Windows PC, you might have come across a file named NTUSER.DAT that resides along where the pictures and documents are saved. You might be wondering what is the use of this file in your Windows operating system. Well, this file is an important Windows user profile system file. It basically stores the user’s profile on your Windows 10/11 system. In this guide, you will learn in detail what is the NTUSER.DAT file and whether should it be removed from your computer or not.

What is NTUSER.DAT File (2023)

what is the ntuser.dat file and should it be removed

The NTUSER.DAT file usually stores the configuration of the Windows user. That is to say the data of the user’s profile. So there should be a custom configuration for each user. This is done in the form of Windows registry keys. As well as when you log in to your Windows user, the latter loads the file.

The NTUSER.DAT file stores wallpaper location, colors, desktop shortcuts, and other settings that the user has customized. Every Windows user has this file at the root of the profile. Finally like any other file, it has the hidden and system attribute function. To see it from the File Explorer, you must enable the display of hidden files and system files.

Should you Remove the NTUSER.DAT file (2023)

You should never remove the NTUSER.DAT file on your Windows operating system, as it will corrupt the user profile and all the settings along with it. It is part of the registry of the environment of each user of your Computer.

So, basically, NTUSER.DAT is a Windows file and it contains the content and information of the HKEY_LOCAL_USER registry key, therefore, you don’t have to delete this file. You can imagine for yourself what will happen if you modify/remove it manually, you will (probably) have to reinstall your Windows OS once again.

NTUser.dat is therefore an important file for the user, as, indeed, it stores the configuration through the Windows registry. When the latter is corrupted, the user loses the customization and configuration on their Windows PC. The simplest way is then to create a new user session and then transfer the documents.

That is everything you need to know about what is NTUSER.DAT file and should you remove it or not. While you are here, you might be also interested to know What is $Windows.~WS Folder and Is It Safe to Delete, and What is Elara App and How to fix it from Preventing Shutdown on Windows.