Manually Removing Fonts From Windows, And Refreshing The Windows Font-Cache Storage File

*Close/save any opened documents and programs since this process will require a restart at some point,
plus programs/documents may attach hooks, locking the font-folder and its content.

First, stop the services FontCache3.0.0.0 (Windows Presentation Foundation Font Cache and FontCache (Windows Font Cache Service), and set the their startup-type to “disabled” (just for those few moments…)

Stopping those services, will allow you an easier access to the C:\Windows\Fonts folder,
without those processes constantly accessing the fonts-folder.

next use task-manager to stop explorer.exe processes, which will unhook most of the hooks set to the C:\Windows\Fonts folder (including the files inside it..)

Use unlocker to unlock any of the remaining hooks,
and any way of browsing for files such as FAR-commander or even Locate32, to help you delete any of the font files you want.

It is best to make a backup-copy of the entire folder, including all of the files inside,
just in-case.

Use CCleaner to automatically clean-up any registry-entries for the deleted-font files,

We’re almost done, and now it is time to delete the static-cache files for the font-folder,
so new ones will be created for the new folder-content.

Remove (or rename their extensions to .old) both FNTCACHE.DAT and StaticCache.dat which you’ll find under C:\Windows\System32\ and C:\Windows\SysWOW64\.

*Generating the new cache-files will be done automatically the next time the cache-services will start-up,
but we’ll let them start automatically after the next PC-restart.

Before restarting your PC,
switch the startup-type of both FontCache3.0.0.0 and FontCache to “automatic”,
without actually restarting them by yourself.

Quickly press [WINDOWS]+[R], to open-up the “run” dialog-box,
type restart -f -r -t 00 and press [ENTER].

The next time the computer will be up,
after you’ll log-into your account, the new cache-files will be created.

You may even want to refresh the icon-cache for your desktop icons and such,
by running the following command: ie4uinit.exe -ClearIconCache (you’ll have to wait few moments for it to finish). No need to restart afterwards.

The entire process takes few moments but it will speed up your Windows-PC,
especially if you’ll end-up deleting a lot of unneeded font-files.

Here is a way of doing the same process, automatically,
and much faster…

you need to restart your machine yourself.


@echo off

::Windows Font Cache Service
sc  config  "FontCache" start=disabled             2>nul >nul
sc  stop    "FontCache"                            2>nul >nul
net stop    "FontCache" /y                         2>nul >nul

::Windows Presentation Foundation Font Cache
sc  config  "FontCache3.0.0.0" start=disabled      2>nul >nul
sc  stop    "FontCache3.0.0.0"                     2>nul >nul
net stop    "FontCache3.0.0.0" /y                  2>nul >nul

del /f /q   "C:\Windows\System32\FNTCACHE.DAT"     2>nul >nul
del /f /q   "C:\Windows\System32\StaticCache.dat"  2>nul >nul
del /f /q   "C:\Windows\SysWOW64\FNTCACHE.DAT"     2>nul >nul
del /f /q   "C:\Windows\SysWOW64\StaticCache.dat"  2>nul >nul

echo trying to unhook cache-files that are used by another processes.
if exist "C:\Windows\System32\FNTCACHE.DAT"    (call unlocker.exe "C:\Windows\System32\FNTCACHE.DAT")
if exist "C:\Windows\System32\StaticCache.dat" (call unlocker.exe "C:\Windows\System32\StaticCache.dat")
if exist "C:\Windows\SysWOW64\FNTCACHE.DAT"    (call unlocker.exe "C:\Windows\SysWOW64\FNTCACHE.DAT")
if exist "C:\Windows\SysWOW64\StaticCache.dat" (call unlocker.exe "C:\Windows\SysWOW64\StaticCache.dat")
echo done.

echo restoring FontCache service auto-start state.
sc config "FontCache"        start=auto      2>nul >nul
sc config "FontCache3.0.0.0" start=auto      2>nul >nul

::better do this by windows, the next time the Windows-PC will be up after reboot...
::net start "FontCache"                      2>nul >nul
::net start "FontCache3.0.0.0"               2>nul >nul

echo done.

echo Note: reboot to rebuild font-cache.




@echo off
:: A Bit Overkill of verifying what version of EXE to use (x32/x64), with error handling.
:: I use `ie4uinit.exe -ClearIconCache || ie4uinit.exe -show` as an example for an execute that exist in both-folders.
:: This is just a dictionary code, you can make it more efficient by storing the files and paths using `SET`, and even skip the x32 check or put the x32 path in a variable and optinally overwrite it, then executing the file blindly.
:: P.s just f.y.i. - executing `ie4uinit` from either x32 or x64 does not really makes a difference (this is just an example..)

::::::22:34 13/12/2016 does not get generated after call :( .... 
:: it is 100% safe to delete IconCache.db, since it will be generated after reboot or by calling the `ie4uinit.exe -ClearIconCache` (next command).
::if exist %LocalAppData%\IconCache.db (
::  attrib -r -a -s -h -i %LocalAppData%\IconCache.db
::  del /f /q %LocalAppData%\IconCache.db >nul

if exist %WINDIR%\SysWOW64\NUL (
  if exist %WINDIR%\SysWOW64\ie4uinit.exe (
    goto X64;
  goto ERR;
if exist %WINDIR%\System32\NUL (
  if exist %WINDIR%\System32\ie4uinit.exe (
    goto X32;
  goto ERR;

goto EXIT
::--------------------------------------------------- this part will be-reached only by directly passing through `GOTO`-directive.
%WINDIR%\SysWOW64\ie4uinit.exe -ClearIconCache
goto EXIT

%WINDIR%\System32\ie4uinit.exe -ClearIconCache
goto EXIT

echo ERROR.
goto EXIT


It is advised that you’ll change the line: sc config "FontCache3.0.0.0" start=auto 2>nul >nul to ::sc config "FontCache3.0.0.0" start=auto 2>nul >nul, it will keep the Windows Presentation Foundation Font Cache disabled and will solve .net slow-loading applications on Windows machines with large amount of fonts installed.

if you have any issues afterwards, you can download the fonts and script to fix the cache from: Extract the font-archive to your desktop, mark all fonts, right click, choose “install” and check-ON the checkbox for overwriting existing fonts, wait for the installation to finish, and run the font_cache_fix.cmd as admin. restart, and all should be fine now.

Enjoy! :]