How to delete the Windows.old folder from Windows 10

How to delete the Windows.old folder from Windows 10

How to delete the Windows.old folder from Windows 10

How to properly remove the Windows.old folder on Windows 10

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If you recently upgrade your PC to Windows 10?

If so, ever wonder what happened to the previous version of the OS? It probably disappeared into the mists of Windows past, right?

Wrong. Your old OS didn’t get erased; rather, it’s lingering in a system folder called, aptly enough, Windows.old. And depending on the size of that version, it could be hogging a lot of precious space.

In this Post I show you how can you delete Window.old Folder and save your lots of space in your hard drive.

First things first: If you think you might want to downgrade from Windows 10 back to the previous version, don’t delete that folder.

What Is the Windows.old Folder?
This folder is created when you upgrade from one version of Windows to another, starting with Windows Vista. The Windows.old folder actually contains all the files and data from your previous Windows installation. It can be used to restore your system to the old version of Windows if you don’t like the new version. If you’re looking for a specific file that wasn’t properly copied to your new Windows installation, you could also dig into the Windows.old folder and find it.

Essentially, the Windows.old folder just contains the old Windows system. From the Windows system files to your installed programs and each user account’s settings and files, it’s all here. The new version of Windows just keeps it around in case you’d like to go back to that older version of Windows or in case you need to dig in and find a file.

But, don’t wait too long — Windows will automatically delete the Windows.old folder to free up space after a month.

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How to delete the Windows.old folder on Windows 10

The Windows.old folder resides in the hard drive where the operating system is currently installed (typically the C: drive). However, you can’t just hit the delete key and to make it disappear, you need to use the Disk Cleanup tool.

1. Use the Windows key + E keyboard shortcut to open File Explorer.
2. From the left pane, click This PC.
3. Under Devices and drives, right-click the drive with the Windows 10 installation, and click Properties.

Drive Properties in Window 10

Drive Properties in Window 10

4. Click the Disk Cleanup button. (1)
5. Click the Clean up system button. (2)

Window Disk Cleanup

Window Disk Cleanup

6. Select the Previous Windows Installation(s) option to delete the Windows.old folder. Here you can also choose to delete other installation related files, including Windows upgrade log files and Temporary Windows installation files, which can take up several gigabytes of storage as well.
7. Click OK.

8. Click Delete Files on the pop-up dialog to confirm the deletion.

Window Disk Cleanup

Window Disk Cleanup

9. On the Disk Cleanup warning click Yes to complete the process.

While saving a previous installation is a useful method to rollback in case of problems, if the installation completes successfully, the Windows.old folder and other related installation files will just waste valuable storage space on your computer. Even more on mobile devices with limited storage, such as particular models of Surface and low-end PCs.

Keep in mind that it’s safe to delete the Windows.old folder and related files from your computer. However, you should also consider that after removing these files, you will no longer be able to roll back to the previous version of Windows 10 using the recovery options. After deleting the Windows.old folder, the only way to go back is by performing a clean installation of the operating system.

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