Build. Hack. Play. It's just what we do.
Build. Hack. Play. It's just what we do.

Has anyone here had problems with “event trace log” files being created, causing .etl cruft to build up, and performance taking a hit on Windows?

I was watching this thread.


There is a lot of talk about Outlook and telemetry settings. But none of that applied to me. I was only curious as to why these “.etl” files were being created and if I could at least stop Windows from bulking them up, and if I could, would that improve performance/boot/shutdown for me, or for anyone else.

I am currently trying a workaround that’s here (see the end of the thread):


I found that these files were being created and updated fairly regularly.


I wanted to see what would happen if one went into each of the folders where those files are stored, copy their names to the clipboard (along with their extensions), then delete the original .etl files, and then make new text documents with the names of the original .etl files that were deleted. And finally, put read-only attributes on them so they couldn’t be modified, thus keeping their sizes at 0, per the link. Note: I didn’t change the files’ owners, nor deny control to the system, two steps that didn’t seem to be needed in my case.

I don’t know enough to track down what exactly is creating and changing these files in the first place. But I did get a Windows 7 restart time that was shorter by 4 seconds, down to 31s from 35 <— those are figures that my system settled on; there were some higher restart times in the meantime, which is to be expected I guess.

I should mention that this was an exercise in curiosity. I already had acceptable shutdown/restart times before I started pushing these buttons.

Overall performance seems to also be up, but I have nothing for benchmarks, and there is the possibility that some of the improvement is a perceived effect. Here again, the system’s response was *already* something I could live with.

Btw, the computer is a Dell Inspiron 17r N7010 from about 2010, with Win7 Home Premium installed, using a 7200rpm platter drive. Processor is i3, M370, 2.4ghz.

This is not a brag, humble or otherwise, just a fact of life for me. Other people say their computers get slower over time. MIne get faster, mostly because I don’t want to quit meddling with them. : )

iirc, the Inspiron’s original startup time (power-on to desktop) was 4 minutes, give or take. That was at a time when there was still bloatware to be removed. But bloat was only where the tweaking started. I don’t leave things alone, and sometimes the computer has fallen down and taken my tweaks and data with it. But crashes imo are just stepping stones to better performance and lessons learned. Nowadays, I am often making system restore points, registry backups, and whole images, just in case some tweak causes more meltdowns.

I’ve also been poking and prodding at a new Win10 laptop I got in May.... if startup is anything greater than 4-5s, I get irritated and start looking for fixes for whatever I might have done wrong. I wonder what would happen if I applied these .etl tweaks to that system. I suspect, nothing. The speed of an SSD could make most of my efforts a real waste of time.

Anyway this is a lot of text. It’s mostly a tweak that I found and am passing on, though it might be risky to try, especially if you don’t have a very recent backup to lean on.

Hope you like.


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