Efficiently delete unassociated files


In Cubase 10.5 Pro is there a quick and efficient way to scan a particular cubase folder containing project files and their associated audio files and have the option to delete any unassociated audio files in one simple go?

Years ago I remember cubase always had tool for cleaning up and utilzing hard drive space, highly useful but steinberg must have removed it, highly unuseful! :blush:

I know I’ve got the option of installing an eariler version just to get this feature and tool back but seems a bit silly, anyone know what the replacment tool is or a workaround?

thanks for any suggestions guys!


Make backup of your project and delete the original one.


  • Open Pool.
  • Right click to the Audio folder.
  • Remove Unused Media > Trash.
  • Right click to the Trash.
  • Empty Trash > Erase.

The backup way is more clumsy

And with those other steps… you/cubase have no idea if the files are in use in other song projects… NOT even different versions of the same.

I really miss the Clean Up function… which only removed files NOT referenced in ANY project. Why they removed that feature is way beyond me.

PS. I still have Cubase 9 installed only for that function alone… Still works, even for project files made in newer Cubase versions :wink:

I still have Cubase 9.0 installed… for the “File > Clean Up” function alone… Why they removed such a great function is way beyond me.

It will work even on projects made with newer versions… A Cubase project file is still just a Cubase project file.

PS. Please backup first… until you trust it that is :wink:


The Clean Up function wasn’t reliable for me, I have to say. Sometimes it gave me weird results.

I think Steinberg removed this because of to much “pilot errors”…

It never failed me… As long as you deleted unused files from the pool only (not erased) on a project/project version basis, it worked as intended all the time.
It was a much easier way to “clean up” your audio hard drive/project folder for work in progress IMO… The Backup function is only really useful for completely finished songs IMHO.

That said… I do not think Steinberg will ever bring it back… so I’ll keep my Cubase 9 installed :wink:

Do the backup function only take into consideration the active project file, or all the different/earlier versions within the same project folder? Song, Song 01 etc?

How do you make sure to make a backup of all files belonging to all different/earlier versions of a project? Make a backup for all versions one at a time?

I have made a macro for this and use it all the time.

I think there’s a misunderstanding here. I mention this because if somebody follows Martin’s instructions they could lose important files.

Here’s what was asked for:

is there a quick and efficient way to scan a particular cubase folder containing project files and their associated audio files and have the option to delete any unassociated audio files

Martin’s solution, and the macro beatpete mentions, will delete all files that are not used in the one project file that is currently open. Any audio files not used in the current project, but used in other projects in the current directly will be deleted. The OP specifically said “project files”, plural. It is common to have multiple versions of a project in a folder, and they may use different audio files.

Carvin Man has the correct solution: use Cubase 9 to perform the cleanup. That allows you to select multiple project files and only delete audio files that are not used in any of those projects. I know most people here are experienced enough to know this, but it would be a shame if somebody lost important files due to a misunderstanding about this.

“correct solution: use Cubase 9 to perform the cleanup”

I wouldn’t, it is not safe. There is a reason it was removed.
Use Backup, as Martin suggested, and archive any old project folder before deleting. (USB drives are cheap)

Sure, but that’s not what the OP is asking for. He’s asking how to clean up the project folder to remove audio files that are not in use in any projects in the folder. AFAIK, there is no other option except to use the cleanup function in Cubase 9.

I suspect the OP knows Martin’s instructions could delete important files, but I just thought it was important to try to clarify that potential misunderstanding.

I have used this function from the very day it appeared in Cubase (and Nuendo)… without losing a single file… ever.

PS. Mind you, I have always saved all my audio files inside the corresponding project folder… What happens if you have saved your audio files across multiple locations, I don’t know.

I really think that they removed this due to many complaints… based on “pilot errors”.