View Full Version : Remove useless files from your thumb drive

03-15-2009, 03:53 AM
I'm sure almost everyone here is using a thumb drive filled with apps. If it's a big enough collection it can be a giant pain to copy files to a new thumb drive, sync your folders, etc. When copying to flash media how many files is almost as important as how large the files are. If you remove files such a uninstallers, readme's, licenses, languages, help files, bookmark/urls, etc you can considerably cut down on the number of total files.

I managed to go from nearly 10,000 files to just over 7,700. I knew it would make a difference in my syncing time, but I was literally amazed at how much faster it was. It went from a few minutes to maybe a minute if that.

Rather than go through each folder individually I found it easier just to use the built in file search and delete huge amounts at a time. You can do a search for "readme" and delete groups at a time. I used "lang" to find language files/folders. That probably made the biggest difference. If you're willing to spend 30 minutes deleting files you'll probably end up saving a lot more than that assuming your usage is anything like mine.

Some things you'll want to search for are:

read (variations of readme)
lang (variations of language, snags most of the folders)
eula (catches quite a few files)
license (tons of these)
gpl (got a few of these myself)
copy (copy, copying, copyright, etc)
new (catches whatsnew and news type files)
unins (catches uninstall and variations)
*.url (bookmarks, you'll probably find a lot of these)
*.chm (compiled HTML, mostly used for help files)
*.hlp (help files)
*.txt (scan this for stuff that can be deleted, if you find common wordage do a new search on that)
*.html (same as txt)

Once you have most of it gone just be sure to clean out the program folders before adding them to your collection. If anyone has more search terms I'd be interested in hearing them. I'm sure I probably left some stuff out.

03-15-2009, 06:20 AM
why not create a simple batch file that searches through every folder on your thumb drive; and delete whatever file types you want =)

No more manual searching..

03-15-2009, 06:30 AM
Yeah, I considered that, but ultimately I didn't want to delete anything I might need.

03-15-2009, 09:01 AM
Yeah spose that poses as a threat; specially since deleting files from the command line doesn't put them in the recycle bin (as far as im aware)

03-19-2009, 01:20 AM
Yeah there are freeware console (command line) tools for 'recycling' files instead of immediately deleting them. But I think they would only work on fixed hard drives, since removables don't support the 'recycle bin' concept as far as I know. Once you delete (even from Windows Explorer) -- it's gone for good.