Clean your prefetch to improve performance.

Published in Windows XP Performance Tweaks by TweakXP Member with 162,364 views

This is an unique technique for WinXP. We know that it is necessary to wash registry and TEMP files for Win9X/ME/2000 periodly. Prefetch is a new and very useful technique in Windows XP. However, after using XP some time, the prefetch folder can get full of rarely used or obsolete links which can slow down your computer noticeably. My suggestion is: open C(system drive):/windows/prefetch, delete all files (or at least those more than 3 weeks old), reboot. I recommended that you do this every month.

Editor Note:  Deleting prefetch files too often (Every reboot) can decrease system performance!

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This seems to be done on my XP system right now. I have nothing older than a week in prefetch. Maybe I have another utility that is doing that.
Posted by Tony on 5 years ago

i wonder if microsoft is deleting old prefech data now.. like the other poster my prefetch is not more than a week old and as far as i know i have no programs that do that kinda work.
Posted by dreadmyst on 5 years ago

It isn't necessary to delete files in the prefetch folder. XP maintains it for you.
Posted by Jim on 4 years ago

The prefetch folder is totally managed by the system and there is no need or benefit in manual deletion of these files. Deletion of active prefetch files will impair performance. The whole concept of cleaning the prefetch folder is based on a complete misunderstanding of how prefetch works.

Larry Miller
Microsoft MCSA

Posted by Larry Miller on 4 years ago

The Task Scheduler service must be set to Automatic for the Prefetch Folder to work properly. Files in Prefetch Folder that are not or rarely used are automatically deleted when the folder reaches 128 items (at least I think it's 128 items). Therfore it isn't necessary to perform any maintenance on the Prefetch Folder. Doing so will hurt performance. Here is one of several articles on this issue:
Posted by Mark on 4 years ago

The word "unique" begins with a consonant sound. It's "a unique," not "an unique." Writing is a relatively recent invention, remember, so the aural form is primary.

More to the point, what Larry Miller (MCSA) wrote makes sense. The only possible benefit to deleting prefetch files is if you're truly desperate to create space. Maybe you might do this on a cramped laptop, just prior to a defrag, and even then, it wouldn't do much. You probably get more space by deleting your browsers' caches.
Posted by Rusty S. on 4 years ago

The following article (excerpt) published by William Wilson on was successful in reducing more MS_Intervention. I use computers to do research and make a living (20+ years IT SysEng) and require predictive validity from my machine. I strip, harden and tweak Windows to perform the fastest and provide the most dependable operation. As inferred, my recreation is with the real and not virtual or machine worlds. Hope this post is of benefit..!

"Determine how you want prefetch to run:
*This involves the registry, if you are uncomfortable with this, you should stop here."

move to path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters
On the right side look for a key named: EnablePrefetcher
This decides if and how prefetch runs, here are the value and what they do:
0: Disable
1: Prefetch when an application runs
2: Prefetch on startup or bootup
3: Always Prefetch

Posted by XATARI on 4 years ago

Nice, tnx

Posted by mac on 3 years ago

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