Blex's Simple Seven-Step Guide to Deleting the Useless Foreign Language Files in the Windows 7 C:\Windows Directory and Sub-Directories

Maybe I'm just too OCD, but ever since owning my l33t Packard Bell computer back in 1993 I've always hated having useless files and programs on my hard drive. Weeks after getting my first computer, my friend told me that in order for the game Star Wars X-Wing to run I needed to format the hard drive. I knew I formatted floppy disks before but I didn't actually know what that meant! So, in order to play the game, I got home from school one day and typed a command at a DOS prompt that would forever change my life: FORMAT C: !!! Once the hard drive was erased and I saw no Windows 3.11 pop up, I knew I was in trouble! So I called my friend for the first time and asked him what happened. He explained that the format command erased everything on the computer. Oh no! So I asked for his help in getting everything back and eventually I got everything restored. As a result of typing FORMAT C: I learned everything and anything about DOS and how computers run. At the same time, my friend became one of my best friends all throughout high school and because his dad (who was previously my Little League baseball coach) had season Packers tickets, I ended up going with him to tons of games until around 1998 when my friend moved to San Diego where he still resides today.

Alright, enough story telling. What I learned from formatting my hard drive when I was 14 years old was that the default CRAP that companies have installed on new computers slow it down, take up unnecessary disk space, and (like so many laptops, desktops, cell phones, tablets, and electronic devices today) unbeknownst to innocent and less computer-savvy people, leave them forever stuck with a bloated system. Once I learned how to master the format command I learned that I CONTROL my computers. After upgrading to a Hewlett Packard desktop and using that for years I learned how to build my own computer and put ONLY what I want on it. Although desktop PCs are dwindling in sales, I recommend building or buying a bare-bones PC.

Nowadays, when people get a new store-bought computer or make their own and install a fresh copy of Windows, what most people don't know is that when the OS and the plethora of services files are done installing, anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 USELESS files are left on the hard drive. Most of the files are VERY small in size and perpetually throughout the hard drive's life, the "arm" that reads the data on it the drive goes back and forth constantly. If I was a hard drive, I would get tired of reading all these tiny insignificant files.

So what are these tiny files? FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILES! As if everybody constantly is learning foreign languages and switches back and forth between Chinese and English on their PCs! Microsoft does give people the option to download and install "language packs" when first running a service pack update. But, I would imaging most people don't click the details button to unselect the option to download and install because they just want to feel protected from the evildoers out there who may exploit a non-service-pack-updated system! Even when NOT selecting to download the language files, tens of thousands of the tiny files REMAIN on the hard drive taking up useless space that exhausts hard drives and potentially leads to a loss of data.

Because Microsoft does not give users the option to perform a mass-delete of all the non-English files in the Windows folder, I told myself that next time I format and reinstall Windows, when the insurmountable amount of foreign language files are done being tossed on the hard drive, why not make a web page showing other people how to remove the files !!! Doing so, would also reminding me where and how many files actually exist that can be safely deleted. What is unique about this page is that it's ORIGINAL because I found NO OTHER GUIDE like this that explains how to remove the foreign language files!

Here are the simple 7 steps:

Some notes before I get started:

I completed this guide on an AMD 64-bit system. Obviously, Intel based systems will have the same foreign language files but the first part of the folder and file names will not start with or contain the letters AMD64. Also, if you are NOT confident doing this, just leave this page. Hard drives (other than solid-state ones) are so huge now that not deleting the files won't present a problem. But, if you're anal about useless crap being on your hard drive (like I am) continue on.

1: Before going on the deleting spree, you MUST download and install TWO COMPLETELY FREE programs Explorer++ and Unlocker.

2: Once installed, run Explorer++, use the details view method, and (using this folder as an example, you are free to start in the root directory) navigate to the C:\Windows\winsxs directory (looked upon by many as the most fearful folder to mess with in the Windows directory).

3: Click Tools and then Search in the menu bar (wow, I devoted an entire step to two clicks).

4: Almost all useless non-English files contain a two-character letter combination. To locate the useless foreign language files, I use the two-letter combination which hunts down all the Chinese files and consequently brings you to your starting point. Therefore, in the filename field type in (WITH the *s included) *zh* and click search.

5: You will get a list of folders and files in the search results.

Right-click on one of the lines and then left-click and select the Open Folder Location option. You will then see a gigantic list of folders containing the same folder name but with these different charactersat the end:

ar-SA, bg-BG, cs-CZ, da-DK, de-DE, el-GR, en-US, es-ES, et-EE, fi-FI, fr-FR, he-IL, hr-HR, hu-HU, it-IT, ja-JP, ko-KR, lt-LT, lv-LV, nb-NO, nl-NL, pl-PL, pt-BR, pt-PT, ro-RO, ru-RU, sk-SK, sl-SI, sr-Latn-CS, sv-SE, th-TH, tr-TR, uk-UA, zh-CN, zh-HK, zh-TW

6: Highlight all of the folders and/or files but be certain to UNSELECT the ones containing the characters EN and/or EN-US. Then right click on one of the selected folders, left-click Unlocker, then select the delete option.

7: Repeat over and over again until all the folders and files are gone. Watch as the useless files and folders are deleted off the hard drive !!!

8: Optional, contact me to send me generous donations.

Here are the folders and all sub-folders therein that contain the language files safe to delete.


There is no need to delete the files individually in this directly. The entire folder is safe to delete. Why? It only contains the files downloaded when Microsoft Updates are downloaded.     Useless! How often do you need to uninstall a service pack? Never! Keep the folder itself but select all the folders and files in there and delete them all. After a format, SP1 update, and all Windows updates downloaded, the total size and file count I had (it will vary in size depending on what options you select when installing windows) was 80,573 files totalling 1,535,490,111 bytes !!!  DELETE !!!