What is Windows Prefetch File?

Have you ever heard of Windows Prefetch File? Windows Prefetch Files are used to optimize application loading and Windows boot up. In Windows XP, the main component is called Prefetcher and in Windows Vista, there are 2 major components that are working together to increase the prefetch ability which is Ready Boots and Super Fetch.

Prefetch files are used to monitor and adapt the usage pattern of files and applications over period of time and to load the majority of the files and data needed into memory so that they can be accessed directly and very quickly when needed instead of searching them from the hard disk making it slower due to seek and spin time of the hard disk.


The picture above should show you the location of the prefetch file. There’s also a rumor that if you delete the files in the prefetch folder, it will make your computer loads faster. Well, eventually this is against the principle of prefetch file in the first place. Deleting the files in the prefetch folder will make your computer takes a longer time to boot.

Prefetch files can be identified as files with extension *.pf or File Extension OPF. Remember, these type of files are meant to increase the speed of application loading and deleting the files will make your program to load longer.