Deleted assets still on disk

What a super nooby question: I’m trying to start a completely empty project (no sounds, no blueprints, no props or materials or textures, etc.) but from what I can tell even the “Blank” project comes with a bunch of stuff. No biggie, I selected it all in the outliner and deleted it… But it’s still on disk. It’s just not visible in the editor any more. I guess I’m doing something wrong but I can’t figure out what it is!

I’m gonna bump this one; I’m still stumped on what is going on with the project folder in regards to the Content Browser.

Assets deleted or renamed in the Content Browser still seem to exist in the project folder (.uasset files). Deleted folders still exist, and newly created folders don’t. Example: I just created a “NewMaps” folder and it’s visible on the Content Browser but not on disk, so when I click to save my map I can’t navigate to the newly created folder to save it.

I’m assuming I’m missing a critical step in the content management pipeline here? It’s apparent that what is visible in the Content Browser is not a 1:1 map of what exists in the project folder?

Are you sure you are checking the correct project folder? Created project folders are in Documents > Unreal Projects by default.

Yeah, I have selected a different location for my project but it is the correct folder. Newly created assets appear here, and right-clicking on GAME and selecting SHOW IN EXPLORER opens the project folder.

Renamed files should leave behind a 1kb redirector. The reason for that is it helps maintain references to the original renamed asset from any levels that were not open at the time of the asset rename.

I am not sure about deleted folders leaving empty folders behind. Deleted assets should also not leave anything on disk, as far as I know (been wrong too many times to count at this point :slight_smile:

Also in the first post I think you confused outliner from content browser. Outliner is for scene placed objects and not assets on disk. I will try making a blank project later and see what files there are… Maybe some aren’t meant to be deleted.

Sorry yeah, getting my Maya / UE4 lingo all confused :slight_smile:

Okay, so I understand why the 1kb redirectors are there now, cool cool! I’m having a problem where renaming an asset automatically changes it to all lowercase, and I’m not sure if that’s related (perhaps I’m renaming the asset to an asset which already exists as a redirector?)

Deleted folders don’t leave empty folders behind, they leave the folder with the redirectors. But creating a new folder doesn’t seem to do anything, it’s there in the Content Browser but not on disk.

Hey Boon just so you know:
You have to place and save a file, any file inside an empty newly created editor folder in order to see and navigate inside it in a windows explorer window. if you remove the temp file close the editor and open it back up the folder will be gone. you must have a file living inside the folder at all times

Hi RyanB,
Is there a tool, menu option or safe way to clear these reference files and deleted folders? Naturally I understand the risk involved in purging reference files that are used to redirect assets on map files that have not been opened but is there a way to clear these files from the content folder?

The reason I ask is that currently I am rapid prototyping which means Folder structures change and asset names change a lot. And it is painful to add files to my P4 Depot. Since I find myself sifting thur 40+ deleted or moved files in a folder that in the editor only contains 6 assets.

The other inconvenience is renaming a file the same as a file I have just deleted in the same folder structure. It can’t be done. I have a lot of renamed files with a 1 or a 2 attached to the back of the name because those invisible reference files still live in the folder even though they aren’t visible in the editor. It makes sense why this is happing since both a reference file and actual file can’t have the same name in the same directory, but it is cumbersome and confusing to constantly have to rename files with new and unique names.

As a project develops I could see this problem growing into a really large elephant.

Some suggestions:
Unreal could place all those reference files in a single folder or mirrored structure outside of the content folder or a tool could re-path all the assets of unopened maps before the files are purged.

May be we need a “Project cleanup” menu item ?

There is indeed a command you can run called fixupredirects. Sorry I actually had to search for this answer myself as I have never used this tool before. In the past it was a programmer only thing that had to be done on the entire project all at once, but it seems there is an easy way to handle it now :slight_smile:


For what it’s worth, once in a while I still just delete things the old fashioned way in windows explorer and deal with the map load errors by resaving things.

well I tested the command and also filtered for redirects and it did work, I did clear some 20 files. However! when I went to my explorer window I found that none of the deleted folders where cleared and some 70% of the junk files still remain.
perhaps these files are not redirects but something else or the tool only clears active redirects not deleted files?

For now I can manually delete these files and folders (after a backup) but this is going to be a very tedious way to work.

Antigen is right - we need a tool to delete or at the very least hide these junk files created by the Unreal editor

Still got many problems with that. Old redirectors are there forever, redirections are not automatically fixed, have them to clean manually in the explorer each time instead.

Hi Spyro,

You can also use the method of right click “Fix Up Redirectors.”


As noted in the information bubble this will fix them where possible. This may still require some manual work as well just removing them in the project folders path and then fixing any load errors that are happening by fixing the links and re-saving the trouble assets.

^^ I learned that one yesterday as I was restructuring my project folder, it’s very handy

thank you!

Nope. I’ve got FBX files I imported with one name and then immediately renamed to something else. Nothing ever referenced the originals. There are redirectors visible in Explorer that are not visible in UE4, regardless of whether I turn on the filter or not. Right clicking the containing folder and using the Fixup Redirectors option doesn’t work either.

Those files are just “there”, permanently, as far as I can tell. Which is really obnoxious.

To make visible redirectors in content browser you must set Other Filters > Show Redirectors in Filters menu.