Guide: How to Delete Windows.old Folder from Windows 10

If you’ve recently upgraded from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, you may find that you don’t have as much free space on your primary system drive as you used to, and the culprit is probably a new folder on your C: drive called Windows.old. Here’s a quick rundown of why this folder exists, how to delete Windows.old, and why you may not want it.

What is Windowsold?

It is important to note that Windows.old is not new feature in Windows 10; it has been part of the Windows upgrade process since Windows Vista and plays an important role. The Windows.old folder contains important system and user files that allow a user to roll back an upgrade or reinstall Windows to the previous version, either because something went wrong during the upgrade process or because the user later discovered an incompatibility with their software or hardware in the new version and must be reverted to the old version to restore functionality. The reason many users see the Windows.old folder for the first time now is because this folder is only created during a true Windows upgrade, and the vast majority of users have not had to perform such an upgrade in the past. In general, when they buy a new PC, most users get a version of Windows, use that version until the PC dies or needs to be replaced, and then get a new version of Windows preinstalled on their next PC. Since Windows 10 is a free upgrade for most Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users, many PC owners perform a full upgrade of Windows for the first time and discover Windows.old. Therefore, due to its importance in rolling back a Windows upgrade, do not delete the Windows.old folder if you are still testing the compatibility of your hardware and software with Windows 10, as you will not be able to easily switch back to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. But keep in mind that you don’t have unlimited time for this process: Windows itself will automatically delete the Windows.old folder about 30 days after the upgrade if no compatibility issues are detected, so make sure to thoroughly test Windows 10 as soon as possible after the upgrade. As we mentioned above, you can have Windows delete the Windows.old folder for you after about a month, but that’s a long wait if you’re sure your upgrade to Windows 10 is successful and your hardware and software are working normally. This is especially true for users with smaller hard drives, as the Windows.old folder can be quite large. For example, on one of our test systems here at TekRevue, the Windows.old folder was about 17 GB, which is a lot of space for a user with laptop or tablet with a small SSD.So, again, if you are sure that your Windows 10 upgrade has been completed successfully and you are confident that you don’t need to go back to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, you can delete the Windows.old folder with the following steps .

Delete the Windows.old folder

The best way to delete the Windows.old folder is not to remove it easily via Explorer, but to use Disk Cleanup feature in Windows. Start by starting Disk Cleanup from Start> All Apps> Windows Management Tools> Disk Cleanup or by simply searching for Disk cleanup in the search box of the Start menu or Cortana.If you have multiple drives or partitions configured on your Windows 10 PC, you will be prompted to “select the drive you want to clean up. Make sure to select the drive with your Windows 10 installation, which is drive C by default. The Disk Cleanup app will analyze your drive for a few moments, a process that can take some time depending on the size and speed of your drive, and the number of files it contains When the process is complete, you will see the main Disk Cleanup window appear.Windows system files such as those in the Windows.old folder are protected by default and require administrator privileges to delete them. To grant these rights, click on the button labeled Clean Up System files and authorize the User Account Control prompt (Note: you may be asked to select a drive again; choose the same disk or partition that contains your primary Windows installation) You will now see a similar list of Disk Cleanup, but it also contains protected system files. Find and check the box next to Previous Windows installation (s). You can also note the size of this category so that you know how much disk space you can expect to free up up by deleting these files.With the Previous Windows installation (s) box checked, uncheck all other boxes and click OK. You will then be asked to confirm the process; Click Delete files continue.After a few moments of processing, the Disk Cleanup app will delete Windows.old and the files in it. As long as your current Windows installation is functioning properly and all your files have been successfully moved during the upgrade, the only thing that will change you now has quite a bit more free space on your C: drive. You can use the disc. Cleanup app again in the future to delete other potentially unnecessary Windows files, such as Windows Update temporary files, Windows installation files, or Windows log files, but your previous Windows installation files will almost always be the largest category in the list, and It may not be worth your while to delete the log and temporary files, given how little space they save and their potential importance in resolving future problems.

How to Delete Windows.old Folder from Windows 10: benefits


Final note

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