What Is NTUSER.DAT File And Its Purpose On Your PC


Ever been around a file format in your Windows operating system which reads NTUSER.DAT. Firstly, let me inform you that it is a very important system file and it does serve a purpose. These files get created in your personal directory once you create another user profile. When someone creates a new user profile on Windows OS it retains their settings and preferences individually. That’s when the NTUSER.DAT file comes in to existence and plays an important role in it. You don’t manually have to use this file anywhere, Windows will automatically produce and load this file to you. In this article, we are going to find out what it really is and the way it is very important to you.

Whenever you change any default setting of your own body, whether its time, wallpaper or WiFi configuration Windows should remember your changes and preference so next time you log in to your computer your tastes also loads along with it. This is done by saving all of the information in your NTUSER.DAT file, every time you sign from that account. If you create another profile the settings will be the default option, it will have no relation to changes made to the former profile. Each user profile will have this file that stores data and registry entries of every user. The size of this file varies from user to user. It’s dependent on the installation and use of applications on their own profiles. Installation of thicker and bigger software results in bigger NTUSER.DAT file and vice-versa.

The Best Way to Locate NTUSER.DAT?

Every user’s profile has it and you may locate it by following these steps.

Open file explorer and browse C: drive.
In C: drive users and open that folder.
From the users folder, you’ll find your username.

Inside your individual username, you’ll find the corresponding NTUSER.DAT file.

Notice: If you can not locate the next file from the mentioned location, then it might be because you have switched off the option to display hidden files. It is done to keep it from accidentally getting deleted.

Alternatively, for elderly Windows such as 2000 and XP, it is present in the following location: C:\Documents and Settings\username

How Can NTUSER.DAT File Works?

These are essentially part of registry files. In Windows, the registry contains information of every user profile and whatever that is installed on the computer. Therefore Windows OS needs the registry files to run programs and execute any task on a pc. Hence whenever any user logs into into their account their respective NTUSER.DAT file adds itself to the computer’s registry. This way it has accessed by the registry tree present in Windows. Using NTUSER.DAT file an additional ntuser.dat.LOG files also automatically get generated whenever you make changes. This is only a copy of your previous preferences and preferences.

What Happens After You Combine it?

We would never advise that you to delete the NTUSER.DAT because it may result in corrupting your user profile. Your operating system is dependent on this file to automatically load your preferences and preferences. If you delete this file and attempt to log into next time then you’ll observe a message that states”we can’t sign into your account”. In addition, it lets you know that the issue can be solved by either logging in and from your account, but this will not fix it and you see the same message differently. Windows keeps the file concealed in the very first location for this very reason. There no purpose or use of deleting that file because it only takes 3-20 MB of your area. So deleting it won’t save you any space but can lead to losing your account and its settings. But, data and applications files present on your PC will still be there and they will not be harmed in any way.

If an individual is no longer using your computer and you want to remove the user and its settings then follow the steps:

  1. In the background computer, right-click on This PC or My Computer for older PCs and go to its properties.
  2. When the System window opens up click on Advanced system settings.
  3. A brand new System Properties window will now open up, go to the Advanced tab.
  4. In the Advanced tab, click on Settings under User Profiles.
  5. Now you can select a user profile and then delete it so.


Now you have understood how important that an NTUSER.DAT file is for your system. Therefore it’s not advised to delete or try to change it as it will only result in your profiles. Only delete it in case the corresponding profile is no longer in use. Also, only an administrator can delete a sub user’s NTUSER.DAT file and other customers don’t have rights to perform that. You cannot open or read its content directly, it is usually obtained by forensics unit in the event of cyber crime to recover information on an individual. Mention your questions through the remarks below, if you still have some.


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