How To View Superfetch Cache Contents in Windows 7

Superfetch is one of the reason that makes you feel Windows 7 runs faster and smoother than any of its predecessor, and that’s why you shouldn’t disable it in any case.

In fact, Superfetch isn’t a new idea invented in Windows 7. It’s an enhanced version of Prefetch that has been around since Windows XP. It uses the same folder name and does the same thing, but does it slightly different and better than in XP. Superfetch is the key that avoids the situation where the performance of your computer would decrease after running a while.

Explore to %systemroot%\prefetch, you will actually see what’s been fetched. For instance, I have 147 items fetched in prefetch folder by Superfetch process.

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But that’s too hard to see things clearly. Let’s use a nice little tool called WinPrefetchView to get a more detailed picture.

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Highlighting any application listed at the top shows you the detail files opened by that application at the bottom. Also, right-clicking on the application and selecting Properties pops up a window with detail information about that application.

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You can also generate a HTML report that gives you a full list of what’s been superfetched.

Even better, if you want to kick some applications out of the fetch cache, you can simply select these applications and delete them in this tool.

WinPrefetchView is a Free portable tool developed by NirSoft that works on any version of Windows that has this fetch feature, including XP, Vista, and 7, on both 32-bit and 64-bit.

To launch the tool in Windows 7, make sure your run it as administrator because the tool needs to access the prefetch folder that requires the administrator’s rights to open. Right-click the tool and select Run as administrator.

Again, Superfetch in Windows 7 is a nice enhanced feature, and you shouldn’t disable it. Emptying the Prefetch folder frequently is also not recommended. It’s ok to remove a few items out of the cache but make sure you know what you are doing.

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  • Anon

    So why does superfetch crash now and then?

  • TuneUp

    Thanks a lot for this detailed explanation about SuperFetch. If anyone is interested in the reasons why you never should disable your SuperFetch, we did a test to find out what happens if you do. Some people believe that disabling SuperFetch will make booting time and internet browser startup faster, but we actually saw a decrease in performance. More details are available on the test here – http://bit.ly/bfzAHr.

  • Scott

    Can’t reactivate SuperFetch or play or burn dvd’s. Tried everything short of using the Asus maintenance cd to reload windows for my 2010 Asus model P50IJ-x2 with windows 7 prefered which is way too much work to save to a different computer since I can’t burn anything to save. I even swapped out a brand new cd/dvd device & the same problems exist. So, they are not hardware related issues. Any suggestions to repair those 2 areas? Thanks, Scott.