Because it probably isn’t just me (aka WoW file size)
November 16, 2009 § 1 Comment
[Update: In case anyone finds this post, please keep it in mind that this was written in 2009. I haven’t bothered to go back through to see if any of this is still accurate because, well, I just don’t play WoW all that much, so it’s not that important to me. Anyway, the point is, do a little more research before deleting files willy-nilly.]
I noticed my computer has been running a little sluggish lately, so I’ve been running a couple clean up programs to fix it up a bit. During my adventures I noticed that I was running low on hard disk space so I made a query to find out what program/file was usurping my data. Well most of my stuff was tied up in multimedia (music/pictures/movies/etc), or documents and misc. stuff to keep my computer actually running. But the single most prominent thief of space was our old friend World of Warcraft. 20 gigs. 20 freaking gigs. Ho-lee-crap.
Well, that seemed excessive, so I decided to investigate. I discovered that there are a couple of files that can be safely deleted. And since I imagine I’m not the only one who didn’t know you could get rid of this stuff I thought I’d share what I learned.
First, old patch files and associated downloaders can be deleted. From what I have gathered, what happens is you download the patch, the patch applies itself to your game and then the patch file becomes useless. I had no idea. Glad someone told me. v_v (that’s my sarcasm/unamused face)
If you downloaded the game rather than installing it from a disk you may have picked up an installer folder. I downloaded the Burning Crusade expansion rather than downloading it and ended up with a folder called WoW-BurningCrusade-enUS-Slim-Installer.
The Patches folder, and it’s contents can also be deleted. Although, I think (but I’m not sure) that when the pre-patch is downloaded it is stored here. So if you have any folders/files that have names relating to the next patch (at the time of this writing the next patch is 3.3) don’t remove it.
The Updates folder can also be removed. I don’t know why, but according to this post, it’s all good to remove it.
The Screenshots and Movies folders may contain very large files. I remember when I was first playing the game that somehow I started recording the user interface and had no idea. I ended up creating an enormous file. So be sure to check those folders and remove any unwanted files. If you plan on keeping any of the movies you make, I’d recommend moving them to an external hard drive to free up space.
The Cache folder will create various types of files every time you launch the game to help things run faster/smoother. (One example of this is it remembers (or ‘caches’) the fact that you’ve logged into the game before and doesn’t run the intro cinematic every single time.) This really shouldn’t contain any large files in it. Really you only need to be deleting this folder when you are troubleshooting and following the standard Blue response to delete the Cache/Interface/WTF folders.
The Errors folder will log errors that occur. (I think). You should be able to delete the contents of this folder just fine.
The Interface folder contains all the addons you use. Most addons are fairly small. If you have enough addons that the Interface file is big enough to worry about then likely the lag in game is severe with all the addons you’re running. In other word, this folder shouldn’t be the problem.
Some people out there are obsessed with combat logs. Some of those people are so obsessed that they record the combat log for further admiration and analyzing. The records of the combat log (once toggled in game) end up in this folder. If you have stuff in this folder then somehow it is being toggled on. Maybe it’s an addon. Maybe it’s in a macro you copied from somewhere. Maybe for some reason you type /combat every time you log in because someone told you to do that back when you first started playing and you believed them and still do it. So if you have stuff in the Logs folder and you don’t want them there, it’s time for some detective work. But any files you find there can be deleted.
Next is the WDB folder. According to the Blues the game doesn’t currently interact with it but will recreate it if you delete it. In other words, do not touch.
Then there’s our old friend the WTF folder. I’d like to think that the acronym is exactly what we all think it is. But maybe it stands for something like ‘warcraft temporary files’ or something. Who knows. Anyway, this folder holds all your preferences and settings info for your addons and characters. Back in the day before they were stored server side, this is where keybindings and macros were stored. This folder typically won’t be large and should only be deleted when following the Blues troubleshooting guide.
Now, the astute among you will notice I skipped the data folder. There is a very important reason for this. This is the folder that has the game in it. DO NOT TOUCH. Seriously. Do not back up. Severe tire damage. Void where prohibited. No purchase necessary. Only eligible to legal residents of the United States over the age of 18.
Messing with this folder is a very bad idea. Yes, I know it’s a big folder (almost 15 gigs). But it’s got all your game stuff. Yeah there might be a thing here or there that the fancy haxors out there might be able to point you to that you could delete, but those files probably aren’t very big. And there’s no telling what havoc an unskilled hand deleting files might create. I know. One time I accidentally deleted my girlfriends sound card driver. So just leave it alone.
I’m hoping this post has been informative. If you run into trouble or have more questions, please feel free to ask me. I can’t guarantee I’ll have the answer, but I bet I can help you find it.
“[Insert clever sign off phrase here]”
I’ve been having performance issues with my computer as well, so I was happy to see that you had a mini-guide to helping the ol’ WoW folder lose some weight.
Hopefully this will help and thank you for sharing!