Delete Chrome’s File System API Files To Free Up Disk Space

Delete Chrome’s File System API Files To Free Up Disk Space

Dedicated system cleaners are good and all, but sometimes a more surgical approach is needed for freeing up disk space. Take Chrome — while you can nuke its history and cache from orbit, you might find a single folder or directory created by Google’s browser is hogging your drive.

So instead of wiping all those saved searches, URLs and other handy browsing data, you can just delete the problematic files. As gHack’s Martin Brinkmann discovered, Chrome, like many other modern browsers, supports HTML5’s file system API, which allows browsers more expansive functionality when it comes to loading and saving data to your hard drive.

Unfortunately, some websites can take this privilege a little too far and with no in-built checks and balances, the API could fill Chrome’s user data folder with megabytes — and sometimes gigabytes — of information you don’t need.

If you don’t care about your cache or history, you can just delete the lot via Chrome’s default purge options. Alternatively, you can target the data created by the file system API directly.

Just browse to the following folder, where “(Username)” is your account name:

C:Users(Username)AppDataLocalGoogleChromeUser DataDefaultFile System

Depending on what you use Chrome for, this folder may only be a couple of hundred megabytes, a few gigabytes, or it could be empty. Regardless of the size, you can safely delete its contents, as long as you’re sure your favourite sites don’t use the file system API for something.

This can include websites with interactive text or image editors — basically anything that allows you to save files locally. As always, if in doubt, leave it be, especially if it’s not taking up too much space.

Hard Drive filling up? Check Chrome’s File System folder [gHacks]


  • just in case you want a link you can copy-paste into an explorer window without having to go to the effort of substituting your name:
    %localappdata%\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\File System\

  • Not sure if this is windows 8/8.1 specific, but my folder was located in Profile 1 not default:

    %localappdata%\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 1\File System\

    I found HTML5 file system storage to be an issue when using since it stores the downloaded files via HTML5 file system and then copies it over to your default download directory.

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