Can't delete windows.old folder

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  1. meebers's Avatar
    Posts : 1,291
    W10 20H2 .928 & W10 Insider
       #1

    Can't delete windows.old folder


    After upgrade to w10 anniv noticed a Windows.old folder on C: I ran cleanmgr/systems files it still remains. Went to the tutorial and tried all 3 options. Did not delete it. Option 3 once executed as admin, said access was denied. " Strange" thing about the properties is, that it is only 444kb.

    Question 2. Also on C: is a folder "Windows10Update". Can that be deleted?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Can't delete windows.old folder-w10files.png  
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  2. stealth2920's Avatar
    Posts : 497
    Win 10 Pro 64 bit
       #2

    I did the disk clean up and it cleared most of the files in the folder but left the folder and a couple of driver folders. Also left a windows upgrade folder which I have never seen before. Wasn't sure about deleting that one so I cut and transferred to another computer on my network to see what would happen. The computer still runs fine. Only the Window.old folder remains.
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  3. lopedoggie's Avatar
    Posts : 467
    Windows 10 Pro 64bit v1803 build 17133.73
       #3

    If you delete it you can't go back to last known good configuration before the update. If you are satisfied that your system is stable after the Anniversary Update and need the drive space I would delete the contents. I believe the actual folder stays put and maybe some artifacts will remain in it that just refuse to delete (my system has two windows old folders with some do nothing files). Do not follow my advice on this unless you are dead sure positive that your system is rock solid stable. Maybe wait a week or two.

    The proper procedure is here: https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/2...dows-10-a.html
    Last edited by Brink; 13 Oct 2016 at 09:19.
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  4. stealth2920's Avatar
    Posts : 497
    Win 10 Pro 64 bit
       #4

    lopedoggie said:
    If you delete it you can't go back to last known good configuration before the update. If you are satisfied that your system is stable after the Anniversary Update and need the drive space I would delete the contents. I believe the actual folder stays put and maybe some artifacts will remain in it that just refuse to delete (my system has two windows old folders with some do nothing files). Do not follow my advice on this unless you are dead sure positive that your system is rock solid stable. Maybe wait a week or two.

    The proper procedure is here: https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/2...dows-10-a.html
    That worked on my computer but it's my wifes computer that kept the windows.old folder. Those options didn't work and apparently didn't work for the OP either. I have Macrium back ups but not sure it is worth it since the folder is almost empty and doesn't take up any space.
    Last edited by Brink; 13 Oct 2016 at 09:19.
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  5. Posts : 141
    windows 10
       #5

    After a Windows Upgrade, by default, a scheduled task is created and will run after four weeks to delete the Windows.Old directory. Just leave it alone.
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  6. meebers's Avatar
    Posts : 1,291
    W10 20H2 .928 & W10 Insider
    Thread Starter
       #6

    Whatphoeb said:
    After a Windows Upgrade, by default, a scheduled task is created and will run after four weeks to delete the Windows.Old directory. Just leave it alone.
    I would like to see the reference for that, very interesting. This might be the 30 day "try it or revert" option. I do not think this will revert anyways since it is only 444kb. Usually several GB? I have updated 3 computers so far, this is the only one that has windows.old and Windows10Update. Disk cleanup has taken care of 2 out of 3.

    Yes I am sure I do not want to go back because I have iso's and images of the disk now.
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  7. TairikuOkami's Avatar
    Posts : 4,693
    Windows Home Dev 21xxx x64
       #7

    I have had the same problem. There was a task leftover in that folder, I solved it like this:

    Take ownership of the folder, to the file, which can not be deleted and set yourself to Full Control, then delete.

    Take Ownership - Add to Context Menu in Windows 10 - Windows 10 Forums

    https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/3...dows-10-a.html
    Last edited by Brink; 15 Aug 2016 at 18:03.
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  8. lx07's Avatar
    Posts : 5,479
    2004
       #8

    You could look into this thread - Windows.old Folder - Delete in Windows 10 - Windows 10 Forums

    Usually if disk cleanup doesn't delete Windows.old it is because of some badly written driver (in my case it is the Intel Display Audio Driver) which locks the files and so they can't be deleted (see here for example). Please have a look in Windows.old and show us what is there.

    C:\Windows10Update is not a standard directory created by the upgrade. Have a look at what it contains then you can rename and then delete it if it doesn't look interesting.
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  9. meebers's Avatar
    Posts : 1,291
    W10 20H2 .928 & W10 Insider
    Thread Starter
       #9

    lx07 said:
    You could look into this thread - Windows.old Folder - Delete in Windows 10 - Windows 10 Forums

    Usually if disk cleanup doesn't delete Windows.old it is because of some badly written driver (in my case it is the Intel Display Audio Driver) which locks the files and so they can't be deleted (see here for example). Please have a look in Windows.old and show us what is there.

    C:\Windows10Update is not a standard directory created by the upgrade. Have a look at what it contains then you can rename and then delete it if it doesn't look interesting.
    This is whats in the folder windows.old
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Can't delete windows.old folder-.old1.png   Can't delete windows.old folder-.old2.png  
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  10. Posts : 1,234
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
       #10

    I would leave it alone until it will be naturally cleaned up.
    How to free over 10GB of disk space after installing Windows 10 Anniversary Update
    https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/2...dows-10-a.html
    NOTE: The Windows.old folder will automatically be cleaned up after 10 days
    Last edited by Brink; 13 Oct 2016 at 09:20.
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