How to delete system error memory dump files in Windows

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
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  • On top of its numerous advantages, Windows also provides a process designed to store your RAM content in case of a system crash and dump it in a data file.
  • The crash files are obviously useful, but they tend to pile up and claim quite a chunk of your storage space. Here are 4 efficient ways to delete them.
  • Want to know more about System Files? Take all the information you can handle.
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Memory dump files, otherwise crash dumps, are system files saved during blue screen crashes. When a BSOD error message appears, Windows saves a copy of the system memory.

Those crash dump files can then assist developers to fix BSOD system crashes. Users can send the crash dumps to developers when they file support tickets.

Memory dump files can waste a lot of hard drive space. They can hog gigabytes of hard drive storage. Windows only automatically delete crash dump files when HDD space is limited.

However, users can also erase crash dumps with cleanup utilities.

How do I delete System Memory dump files in Windows?

  1. Delete Crash Dumps With Disk Clean-up
  2. Delete Crash Dumps With CCleaner
  3. Delete Crash Dumps Via the Command Prompt</li>
  4. Turn Off Crash Dumps

1. Delete Crash Dumps With Disk Clean-up>

  1. Users can erase crash dumps with Windows’ very own Disk Clean-up. To do that, launch Run with the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut.
  2. Enter cleanmgr in Run’s Open text box.
  3. Press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open Disk Clean-up as administrator.
  4. Select the C: drive on the Drive selection window, and click the OK button.disk cleanup
  5. Select the System error memory dump files check box.
  6. Then click the OK button.
  7. Users who can’t find a System error memory dump files option in Disk Clean-up should open that utility via an elevated Command Prompt. Enter
    %SystemRoot%System32Cmd.exe /c Cleanmgr /sageset:16 & Cleanmgr /sagerun:16

    in the Prompt, and press the Return key. That will open Disk Clean-up with more checkbox options.cmd disk cleanup


2. Delete Crash Dumps With CCleaner

  1. Alternatively, users can erase crash dumps with the freeware CCleaner. To do that, click the green Download xtannotation”>button on CCleaner’s webpage.
  2. Add CCleaner to Windows with its setup wizard.
  3. Launch the CCleaner utility.
  4. Select Custom Clean on the left of CCleaner.
  5. Then select the Memory Dumps check box.
  6. Press the Analyze button.
  7. Select the Run Cleaner option to erase the crash dumps.

3. Delete Crash Dumps Via the Command Prompt

  1. Users can also erase crash dumps with a series of Command Prompt commands. To do so, open the Run accessory.
  2. Enter cmd in Run, and press the Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys.
  3. Then enter the following separate commands in the Prompt, and press Enter after entering each one.

fsutil usn deletejournal /d /n c:

del “%temp%*” /s /f /q

del “C:$Recycle.bin*” /s /f /q

del “%systemroot%temp*” /s /f /q

vssadmin delete shadows /for=c: /all /quiet

Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup /ResetBase


4. Turn Off Crash Dumps

  1. Users can turn off crash dumps to ensure they don’t hog any more HDD storage space. Enter Control Panel in Run’s Open text box and press Return.
  2. Then click System to open the Control Panel applet shown directly below.
  3. Click Advanced system settings on the left of the window to open an Advanced tab.
  4. Then press the Settings button under Startup and Recovery.startup and recovery
  5. Select the (none) option on the drop-down menu shown directly below to turn off crash dumps.
  6. Then click the OK button.

So, there are a few ways users can erase crash dumps in Windows. Deleting the crash dumps might free up quite a bit of hard drive storage space so make sure to do so.

Let us know which was your method of choice in the comments section below.

FAQ: Learn more about Memory dump files

  • What does a memory dump do?

Memory dump files are system files stored during app or system crashes.  Windows uses them to save a copy of the system memory. If the memory dump gets corrupted, quickly fix it with these steps.

  • Where are memory dumps stored Windows 10?

If C: is your system drive, the location of the crash dump files will be %SystemRoot%memory. dmp i.e C:\Windows\memory. dmp.

  • How do I get memory dump on Windows 10?

In order to retrieve dump files, you can simply press Ctrl+Alt+Delete keys to bring up the Task Manager. Select the process for which you wish to create a dump file by right-clicking it and select Create dump file.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in March 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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