Unfinished downloads, tidbits of earlier installations, and other junk files over time build up and take up your disk space. While removing these unwanted materials can be cleaned up using Disk Cleanup or Storage settings, the empty file and folders may continue to exist. So, is it safe to delete empty folders or files in Windows? Let’s find out!
Is it safe to delete Empty Folders in Windows 11/10?
Generally speaking, it is safe to delete empty folders, although you would make no real space savings as they occupy 0 bytes. Nevertheless, if it is just good housekeeping you are looking for, you may go ahead.
You will in any case not be able to delete system-generated folders. And even if you are able to delete Windows-created empty folders, they will be re-created after a system reboot.
In some cases, you may get a dialog box stating that you required permission to do so. Best to skip or avoid forcefully deleting such folders.
Again, if Windows asks to provide administrative permissions to delete any folder, I recommend you say no or choose Skip.
In case the folders are from uninstalled Program Files folders, you can safely go ahead.
In case they are from current Program folders, you could still delete them. If the particular program requires it at any time, they will be re-created.
As a matter of abundant precaution, for the first time, I’d suggest you empty your Recycle Bin, create a system restore point, and then, if the software, allows you to, opt to delete the empty folders to the Recycle Bin, rather than just directly deleting them.
Safe to delete Empty, zero-length, or 0-byte Files?
No, it is best to not delete such zero-byte files.
Zero-length files may be used by some MS installation – uninstallation processes, Mail programs, etc.
Deleting all blindly may cause your Windows or your installed programs to function incorrectly.
So unless you know which zero-length file to delete, best NOT to delete them; as it is they don’t occupy any disk space as such!
Related: What are tw tmp folders in System32 folder and Can you delete them?
Delete empty files & folders
Microsoft offers a one-line batch script to delete empty directories:
for /f "usebackq" %%d in (`"dir /ad/b/s | sort /R"`) do rd "%%d"
But if you are looking for an easy way, check out these free software to delete empty folders in Windows 11/10. Find Empty Files and Folder freeware mentioned there will also find and remove 0-byte files for you.
Hope that helps!