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Question from Maurine: I bought a 2TB external USB hard drive to store my large collection of old family pictures on.
When I plugged the new drive into my computer I noticed that it has several files on it already.
One is a file with info about the warranty. Another is a user guide. I’m not sure what the other two files are.
My question is can I delete all these files or do I need to keep them?
They don’t take up a lot of space but I hate clutter. But I don’t want to “break” anything either.
Rick’s answer: Maurine, you can safely delete all of those files if you want to because removing them won’t cause any technical issues with the drive. It’ll work just fine without them.
That being said, I recommend that you keep the warranty info and user guide files because you never know when they might come in handy.
You didn’t mention the brand or model of the drive so this might not even apply to your situation, but if one of those files is a backup tool you might want to consider keeping it as well.
I know you didn’t buy this drive with the intention of using it to back up your computer, but the way(s) we actually end up using devices often end up being different than the way(s) we intended to use them when we bought them.
At some point you might want to switch gears and use this drive to back up your computer’s hard drive or SSD, and the backup software that came with the drive might possibly work better for you than the backup tools provided by the operating system. Just sayin’.
In case you’re wondering what I do when I buy a new external drive, I usually just create a new folder on the drive and move all of the pre-existing files into it.
That way I just have one extra folder adding to the “clutter” in the drive’s root folder instead of several individual files, but I still have the files available to me should I ever end up needing them.
Of course external drives are fairly cheap these days, and likely to get cheaper as time marches on. That means you can always just buy a new one should the need ever arise.
With that in mind you can easily just delete all these files outright and be done with it if that’s what you’d really prefer to do. The choice is yours.
Bottom line: While you can safely delete all the files that came with the drive with no worries about “breaking” anything, I do recommend that you keep the files mentioned above just in case you ever need them.
I hope this helps, Maurine. Good luck!
Update from Maurine: Your recommendation to move the files into a new folder made a lot of sense, so that’s what I did. Thanks for your help.