Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Cannot delete surplus fonts: "protected system font"

  1. #1

    Cannot delete surplus fonts: "protected system font"


    Windows 8 comes with a whole lot of fonts pre-installed, quite a few of which I do not need and are merely cluttering up the place. I would especially like to get rid of the specialised fonts for Japanese, Chinese, Hebrew, Arabic, Indian etc, etc & so 4th.

    However, for many of them, when I try to delete them, I get the message that they are "protected system fonts". Surely, there aren't that many system fonts? Can we not get rid of or hide these fonts any more? Surely they are an unnecessary drain on resources, and boot-time extenders?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 22,565
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hello Dogmatix,

    Yes, you can still hide system fonts if you like. It's the same way used in Windows 7 below.

    Fonts - Show and Hide - Windows 7 Forums

    Hope this helps,
    Shawn
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Thanks, Shawn, that works - I can hide (and un-hide) these stubborn fonts.

    Not only are a lot of fonts protected, I also get the message that fonts cannot be deleted as they are 'in use'. I find this difficult to believe when no other programs are open. Although these surplus fonts are hideable, so they don't clutter font lists in programs, they are still unnecessarily loaded at start-up.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 22,565
    64-bit Windows 10


    You're welcome. I'm glad that will work for you.

    Sine they were included in Windows 8, they are considered protected OS system files, and is why it will not let you delete them easily to prevent accidentally deleting one that's "in use" by the OS or some program. For what little HDD space they take up, it's not worth the risk of problems by deleting them. Hiding them works good enough.

    If you had installed 3rd party fonts, then those would be safe to delete as loing as they are not in use though.

    Fonts - Delete - Windows 7 Forums
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 4
    Win 7


    Its a pity that there's not a way to override this. I would prefer to delete them.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 1
    windows 8


    Quote Originally Posted by Brink View Post
    You're welcome. I'm glad that will work for you.

    Sine they were included in Windows 8, they are considered protected OS system files, and is why it will not let you delete them easily to prevent accidentally deleting one that's "in use" by the OS or some program. For what little HDD space they take up, it's not worth the risk of problems by deleting them. Hiding them works good enough.

    If you had installed 3rd party fonts, then those would be safe to delete as loing as they are not in use though.

    Fonts - Delete - Windows 7 Forums
    It's not about disk space these days. Disk drives are huge. It's about having control over your own computer. People that try to delete fonts usually know what they are doing. If a program looks weird after because it had to default to another font then fine. At least I have control over the machine. Also, they can make programs load slow while they stop to read all the useless fonts.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 22,565
    64-bit Windows 10


    Can't argue with that. I just would recommend to hide the fonts, or keep a backup of them before permanently deleting the fonts to be able to easily restore one if needed afterwards. This way you could test for issues before deleting.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Some of the fonts are protected even without them being used at the time because windows swaps unknown fonts with closest mach already installed. I don't think that win7 and later widows read all the fonts at sturtup like XP and older ones did, at that time having a lot of fonts installed used to slow down boot time.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Cannot delete surplus fonts: "protected system font"
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