Which system fonts can be removed from Windows 10 without affecting Mp3tag appearance? [And how?]

[This question should probably go straight to @Florian]

How does Mp3tag draw all those triangles in menus and such? What font is responsible for all that graphics glyphs used in it?

I am asking because I am trying to clean the ridiculously long list of mostly [at least for me] useless and counterproductive fonts that comes with Windows 10. Many of them are system protected- so even with font managers, registry hacks and by the means of taking ownership of theirs files / folders they are [in my experience] impossible to remove from the system. Except for a simplistic way of running the drive with the system in question under another system as an ordinary drive- so that deleting files from a location like D:\Windows\Fonts is done normally [because the path does not start with the "C" anymore]; and then going back to using that drive to boot system from

But that is tricky [thence the used by me term "simplistic" and not "simple"] because:

A] there are hundreds of files

B] many of them have filenames that are uninformative

C] some are really needed by the system; as my problem shows

And that latter one is because I constantly end up having my Mp3tag showing me in the Actions drop down menu an "8" instead of the usual triangle filled up with blackness pointing to the right ["▶"] or some wave-like-line, depending on how much / what I remove. Sometimes I even messed up symbols in other places- but after many tries I managed to narrow down the problem to mostly Mp3tag menus. And what is interesting, for example the FreeCommander at the same time has no problems with drawing such elements [as it apparently uses some other glyphs]

And yes I tried leaving / removing obvious fonts like "system", "webdings or "ARIALUNI"- and empirically came to a conclusion that these are not the ones I am looking for. I also left alone files like "StaticCache.dat" and "fms_metadata.xml"- and from the very beginning of my tryouts, may I add. And also I used the method of removing all the files that start with the same letter, so that I would narrow down the search to a block of files for a further pin pointing- and that is when it stopped making sense, as I got opposing results when compared to my initial results

And a note of warning- such tampering should not be performed without a copy of the system. Because as it comes out, even when I re-installed all the fonts [or should I say files] back to C:\Windows\Fonts, the glitches were no gone. I can reset the system, use the re-installed fonts for writing in whatever software and even see them in Settings of the OS- but the problem of inadequate signs remains [yes : I have a copy of the system- when searching for culprits I was constantly switching between 2 or even 3 drives]

[And I am sorry for not looking into my other recent posts - but the little time I have now I am using up for dealing with such problems like this one on my new operating system]

I have no idea why someone should spend a minute to remove some OS fonts...
But here is a list from MS for Windows 10:

Because you are a kind of a graphic designer that often uses engraving lasers and milling cutters and every time have to scroll a list of 150 fonts when getting to these few that you really use and which you must use because the machines have certain technical limitations?

Because you want to load up multiple fonts with diacritic signs of you native langue but do not want to expand the list from 150 to 200 fonts?

Because the last time you used Comic Sans was around the year 2000 and to your astonishment not only in Windows 10 is there this abomination, but also an italized version of it called MV Boli?

I will be getting a new machine with Windows 10, which is suppose to have as little fonts installed as possible. That way I should be able to copy the fonts from that new system to my current system

If this does not work I will probably go through that list

not an good idea I think... maybe you should use an dedicated system your lasercutter. Removing (most) fonts will cause multiple problems in multiple software.

Maybe it would be better to usee control panlel to remove fonts
[windowskey+R] -> Control [return] -> Fonts
instead of removing files from font directory.

I cannot afford to have a system / computer just for machines, another for audio, another for watching movies etc. - and also do not want to. I will only have a laptop serving as a last resort, that will not have a system tweaked to my likening [because it takes too much of my time and energy]

Yes, there are problems

That is why I will first test such removal thoroughly before incorporating it into my system

I did not knew that way. And believe me that I asked friends who are into computers and googled this issue- nobody ever reported the existence of that way. And this excess of fonts is something I was sealing with since around Windows XP

And apparently it works, as I just quickly checked it out. But as I said, I will have to test it thoroughly

In a meanwhile of also the

I accidentally made such discovery: Mp3tag is able to somehow find and use the supposedly missing graphic signs [which are residing in the removed fonts?] for a third party software during execution of that software from Mp3tag

I have just described that in more details in the thread

glad to help you. You never know what Windows really do when uninstalling / installing fonts.

you know about windings, unicode and emojis? Can be used instead of graphics by UI designers because of less ressource usage.

Ever thought about virtualisation?
Primary (Host) System default Windows 10 for watching movies, audio, normal stuff and an minimized guest for your special requirements.
You can run that all on an laptop because AMD and Intel supports low level virtualisation (VT-X / AMD-V)
Just give your Guest maschine about 3 GB RAM and 3 Virtual Cores, it will run as fast as your host, you will not have a big performance leak.

1 Like

my "host" laptop:

my current virtual box config

depending on configuration (memory / processor cores) my host can run more than one machine at the same time, no problem.

Virtualization can even be used to run older operating systems that are needed for older software - but should be offline than, you can configure that.


I am a little puzzled right now:
Has MP3tag been affected by your tidying-up operation in the fonts folder or not?
It looks to me as the topic has wandered off to talk about third party software that is affected and MP3tag isn't.
So the inital test case has been resolved, hasn't it?

Mp3tag is affected by the my tampering with fonts. FileDate Changer is affected too. Some other programs are also affected, more or less

But when Mp3tag tries to send the files to FileDate Changer, that FileDate Changer instance is opened in a window of a slightly different size and [more important] with no signs of being affected

So the question is: what kind if wizardry is this? How is that even possible?


I have to restore system and test the solution that seems to work then and / or maybe wait for that laptop to arrive to compare two folders with fonts

I will report on this somewhere in the future

It took me a long time to take this on this issue once again and it required from me a lot of working hours spent on joggling with different disks / setups, but here is what I have finally established:

1] The font that holds all those signs is Marlett, visible on the drive as marlett.ttf. Once I copy that file to


the problem goes away after the reset

2] Microsoft did not make it easy for me to pin point the culprit [as apparently they really like to treat customers like idiots - Support of the WEBM video file format], because under the

Properties > Details > File description

I have zero information what it contains or what it is needed for. Many others fonts, also those with Copyright by Microsoft, have very informative data in that field. [So this seems the most vital font - and yet it was "described" like something disposable]

3] What the User [who is the Administrator] sees in the


using a file manager like FreeCommander or Total Commander or a photo manager like XnViewMP is something different that what is visible for the very same User when the (Windows) Explorer of Microsoft is chosen for navigation

4] When using Explorer the User is able to easily remove fonts from the Fonts folder of the active operating system for good

5] When using Explorer the User is unable to copy the fonts from the Fonts folder that is currently used by the operating system. Software like FreeCommander must be used

6] Using

Start > Settings > Personalization > Fonts

for managing fonts is a waste of time, to put it mildly. Some fonts cannot be removed at all, some other re-appear just after the supposedly performed uninstallation of them

7] In the Fonts folder I have encountered files in formats

  • CompositeFont
  • dat [just 1: StaticCache]
  • fon
  • ini [just 1: desktop]
  • OTF
  • ttc
  • ttf
  • xml [just 1: fms_metadata]

After my initials trials, in the second run now I have left only the StaticCache.dat file [to be precise: I copied it from that other machine / system which was running A-OK with a minimal amount of fonts installed from scratch on it]; plus the INI file [which is responsible most likely for the icon of the Fonts folder]. Also I have no other fonts than those in format OTF, TTC and TTF

All in all: some fonts can only be removed by using Explorer - and Marlett is a must have in Windows 10 if you do not want to see graphical errors all over it

I will continue to work with the current setup for some time [I will simply use it on a daily basis for different tasks]. So far I have checked multiple programs, big and small, free and payable- all seem to have all those special graphic signs in them and all seem to a shortened list of fonts. I performed multiple resets of the system- but I did not yet updated my Windows so I do not know if my clean up will not be somehow reverted when I perform one [my updates are paused for good with a third party software and I try to manage requests of internet connections with COMODO Firewall as well as the internal requests for access by one process to another]

Later on I will restore my main system, implement the aforementioned changes [thus test them once again] and try to further lean up my list of fonts [thus confirm my findings] and also update it. And at the end of that process I will come back here report if my clean up of fonts is stable and not causing problems

And If everything will be working, I will then mark this post as the one containing the solution

I was right not to jump into conclusion as it seems there is also some other font needed for the system, which I was not yet able to pint point; as right now I still have messed up at least one sign in the shell menu of the Windows Explorer

It is not big of a deal, especially that I rarely use it because of operating on a daily basis with the help of a a third party file manager. Nevertheless I will try to get this working 100% [and then report back]