How to Delete Windows.old Folder on Windows?

by Olivia Morelli - -


Issue: How to Delete Windows.old Folder on Windows?

I’ve just upgraded to Windows 10 from Windows 8.1. I am not thinking about switching back to the previous Windows version. So, I want to delete Windows.old folder entirely. It seems simple deletion is not working.

Solved Answer

The image of Windows.old folder

Windows.old is a legitimate folder which is created on the system after upgrading Windows operating system. It doesn’t matter whether you upgraded from Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, you will still find this folder storing all the information from the previous OS. This folder includes various data and applications from stored in Windows, Program Files, Documents and Settings folders. There two main reasons why this folder has been created. First, this folder allows recovering individual files. Thus, if you cannot find some of the important documents or files after upgrading to the latest Windows version, you can look through this folder and copy individual files. In other words, it’s your backups. Second, if you did not enjoy the latest OS and find the need to downgrade, this folder is also necessary for this procedure.

Specialists always suggest keeping this folder for a couple of days or two after upgrading operating system in order to recover your files or downgrade. However, if you have backups stored in the external device and have no intentions of switching back to the old OS version, you may find this folder useless. One of the main reasons why people express the desire to delete Windows.old folder is that it takes a lot of hard disk space. Indeed, depending on how much data you had, this folder might take from 10 GB to two or free times more of the space. Indeed, if your computer does not have a large disk drive, you may lack the space for the new data. Thus, you may find this folder bothersome and taking too much of the valuable space. If you want to delete Windows.old, you have two options. You can wait for a month until Windows automatically removes this folder, or you can do it manually. If you want to get rid of it right now, you should know that it’s impossible to delete it as simply as regular folders. Despite this fact, it’s not a hard task.

How to Delete Windows.old folder on Windows?

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If you decide to click Del button on your keyboard, or remove Windows.old folder from the File Explorer, you will hear a Windows error sound and see a warning message. It’s not a correct way to remove this folder from the system. Removal requires employing a Windows Disk Cleanup tool. Do not worry. You don’t need to install any new software. This application is already installed on your machine. Thus, follow the steps below and make some space on your PC:

1. Open Windows Disc Cleanup application. Click on the Start button and use Windows search to find this program.

2. Open the program and choose the main system drive. Click on Clean up system files button and wait for a couple of minutes while Windows completes the scan.

3. When you receive scan results, you will find a list of different files and how much disk space the use. For instance, you will see Recycle Bin, Temporary files, and more. However, you should look for Previous Windows installation(s) and check this option.

NOTE. Make sure that deleted only this file to avoid accidental loss of other data.

4. Click OK to confirm the deletion.

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About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - PC & Mac repair expert

Olivia Morelli is a young, but a perspicacious IT expert who is currently just a year away from a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Systems. Her primary passion is cyber security, however, thanks to her detailed understanding of computer networks, operating systems and hardware, she can find a fix for any PC or Mac issue...

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