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The latest Windows 11 bug results in thousands of empty folders

Windows 11 is based on the same core as Windows 10, which is great for stability. But the new operating system inherited several issues in the process. The latest problem pertains to hundreds or thousands of empty folders stored deep on your C: drive, which idly accumulate while you use your PC.

It feels all too familiar. People have reported the issue to Microsoft in the past, but it seems to still have made the jump to Windows 11. One user reported finding 2,451 empty folders. When I navigated to the same directory on my PC, I was met with 540 empty folders, all of which carried a similar naming scheme.

empty folders on Windows 11.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you want to see if you have empty folders, too, you can find them here: C:WindowsSystem32configsystemprofileAppDataLocal.

The extra folders don’t do anything, really. They don’t impact performance, and although empty folders technically take up space, it’s a negligible amount. MSPowerUser reports that the folders are tied to the provision package runtime processing tool, which basically provides your PC with preset configuration files. As long as the folders are empty, and you see them on your personal Windows 11 PC, you can delete them without any problems.

All of the folders have the .tmp extension, which indicates that they were, at some point, used to temporarily backup data or store information in cache. It seems Windows is deleting whatever files are inside these folders automatically, just not the folders themselves. If you can’t be bothered deleting them, don’t worry — this bug shouldn’t make any difference while using your PC.

Still, it underlines the main issue with Windows 11. It’s Windows 10 under the hood, warts and all. Near launch, we experienced a rather severe memory leak issue that was also present on Windows 10. These issues recontextualize the high Windows 11 system requirements, suggesting that beneath the rounded edges and centered taskbar, Windows 11 isn’t all that different from Windows 10.

Windows 11 is available as a free update to Windows 10 right now, but unless you’re ready to mess around with Android apps or experience the new OS sounds, you don’t need to upgrade. Microsoft is supporting Windows 10 until 2025, so you’ll have plenty of time to upgrade down the line. By then, hopefully Microsoft will have ironed out all of the bugs.

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Jacob Roach
Lead Reporter, PC Hardware
Jacob Roach is the lead reporter for PC hardware at Digital Trends. In addition to covering the latest PC components, from…
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