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Remove old Exchange OWA files to free up disk space

You want to free up disk space on the Exchange Server. After doing a scan on the Exchange Server, you find more than a couple of GB’s in the Exchange Owa\prem folder. It can even take up more than 10 GB in size. The question is, can you remove these old Exchange OWA files?

Keep your Exchange Server up to date for new features, bug fixes, and security fixes. After every Exchange Cumulative Update (CU), files are added, removed, and replaced. But what does not get removed or replaced is the Exchange Owa\prem folder.

Find large files with TreeSize

Find large folders and files with TreeSize Free. There are plenty of other systems that can do the same. We recommend you to download and run Treesize Free on the system. In our example, it’s the Exchange Server.

The prem folder size is 9,5 GB.

Remove old Exchange OWA files to free up disk space TreeSize

Find the Owa\prem folder

Start File Explorer and navigate to the prem folder that contains the files.

If you don’t know the Exchange installation path, use the variable %ExchangeInstallPath%.

The folder will look as follow. These are the Exchange Server build numbers that are installed on the system.

Remove old Exchange OWA files to free up disk space owa prem folders

Read more: Find Exchange version with PowerShell »

Which of these folders can you remove?

To know which Exchange build number folders we can remove, we have to go one folder back. The path is:

Have a look at the Exchange build number. In our example, it’s showing only one build number, which is 15.1.2106.2. This build number is currently the only Exchange Server that’s running.

Do you see more than one Exchange build number? It means that more than one Exchange version is installed and running in the organization.

Don’t remove the build numbers that you see in the Owa folder from the Owa\prem folder.

Remove old Exchange OWA files to free up disk space owa folder

We recommend you to update all Exchange Servers to the same version.

Get old Exchange build numbers total size

In the previous step, we did verify that only build number 15.1.2106.2 is running. The next step is to go to the Owa\prem folder and select all the other Exchange build number folders. After that, right-click and select Properties.

The size of these files is 7.47 GB.

Remove old Exchange OWA files to free up disk space owa prem size on disk

Remove old Exchange build numbers from Owa\prem folder

We will select the folders that we did identify in the previous step. Right-click and click on Delete. Don’t forget to empty the Recycle Bin. If you don’t want to send the folders to the Recycle Bin and immediately remove them, press Shift + Delete.

Remove old Exchange OWA files to free up disk space delete owa prem folders

We did reclaim 7.47 GB on the Exchange Server. If you have more than one Exchange Server, follow the same procedure.

Keep reading: Get disk free space with PowerShell »

Conclusion

In this article, you learned how to remove old Exchange OWA files to free up disk space. Attention is essential before you remove the Exchange build numbers folders. You need to identify which Exchange build number shows up in the Owa folder. After that, you can remove all the other build numbers from the Owa\prem folder.

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ALI TAJRAN

ALI TAJRAN

ALI TAJRAN is a passionate IT Architect, IT Consultant, and Microsoft Certified Trainer. He started Information Technology at a very young age, and his goal is to teach and inspire others. Read more »

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