What is NTUSER.DAT file in Windows 10?

NTUSER.DAT file in Windows 10

If you have been using the Windows operating system for a long time, you may have come across a file named NTUSER.DAT. This is a user-specific file that keeps the user configuration data read when you log on to your computer. Imagine it as a file from which Windows retrieves the user settings and use it to prepare your connection.

What is the NTUSER.DAT file in Windows 10?

If you wonder why the file name is "NT", this is because this DAT file is as old as Windows NT. This was the first operating system to support multiple user profiles. Windows 98/95 did not have a system of profiling multiple users. Windows now generates this file for each new user profile created on the system.

In this post we will cover the following topics:

  1. NTUSER.DAT file location
  2. Why does Windows 10 use a data file to store information?
  3. How the NTUSER.DAT file works
  4. Can you remove the NTUSER.DAT file?

1) NTUSER.DAT file location

  1. Set Windows to show hidden files
  2. Open the runtime prompt
  3. Type% userprofile% and press Enter
  4. The user profile folder will open
  5. You should see the NTUSER.DAT file here.

3) Why does Windows 10 use a data file to store information?

You'd be surprised to know that it's a file containing all user-related registry entries. Windows saves every configuration detail in the Windows registry, which also includes configuration data and user preferences. If you have already opened a registry hive, you must have seen a folder with the key names:

  • HKEY_USERS
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER

Although the standard configuration of the old stores, the latter is specific to the user.

Windows creates a NTUSER.DAT file for each user.

Here is the list of files and their registry counterparts.

Registry hiveSupport files
HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIGSystem, System.alt, System.log, System.sav
HKEY_CURRENT_USERNTUSER.DAT, NTUSER.dat.log
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SAMSam, Sam.log, Sam.sav
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SecuritySecurity, Security.log, Security.sav
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SoftwareSoftware, Software.log, Software.sav
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SystemSystem, System.alt, System.log, System.sav
HKEY_USERS .DEFAULTDefault, Default.log, Default.sav

3) How the NTUSER.DAT file works

When you change the user configuration, the user is saved in the registry. During the disconnection process, this changed setting is saved in the NTUSER.DAT file. The next time you log in to the computer, all information in the same NTUSER.DAT file will be loaded.

4) Can you delete the NTUSER.DAT file?

You should not try to delete the NTUSER.DAT file. If you delete it, you will lose all your personal settings and configurations. The user account could even be corrupted and stop working.

We hope this information about the NTUSER.DAT file is clear.

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