Windows 10: Delete Windows.old Folder in Windows 10  

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  1. Posts : 32,554
    Triple boot - Win 10 Pro, Win 10 Pro Insider (2) - (and a sprinkling of VMs)
       30 Oct 2017 #190

    Maggidon said: View Post
    No, actually I tried that and get zero. I just talked to a friend of mine who said he actually can retrieve the Windows.old & bring the system back again.
    Strange thing is ... Windows.old did not automatically remove itself from that machine. This one, it did. Why is that? And he's suggesting there's something in that Windows.old that is needed and Microsoft told me the exact same thing two years ago when I ran into this problem.
    @Maggidon Yes, in some rare cases, usually an audio driver or such, Windows still has a hook into it and won't let go until the Windows.old gets deleted and a clean reboot is made. Then it points to the correct driver in system32. Don't have an example for you, but it has happened. Maybe someone else can give more details.

    If the Windows.old folder is 30+ days old, the system will delete it. If it can. Probably why the one you mentioned did get deleted.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  2.    30 Oct 2017 #191

    If memory serves me correctly (and usually it doesn't) Windows.old did not delete itself after 30 days a couple years back. This time, I understood it to delete itself after 10 days, so when it didn't, I decided to get foolish and go down the same road called "Risk" again and presto!!! It worked!?!
    If it is as you say, Windows hanging onto something into the Windows.old, why would that be? It's not suppose to do that, is it?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 32,554
    Triple boot - Win 10 Pro, Win 10 Pro Insider (2) - (and a sprinkling of VMs)
       31 Oct 2017 #192

    Maggidon said: View Post
    If memory serves me correctly (and usually it doesn't) Windows.old did not delete itself after 30 days a couple years back. This time, I understood it to delete itself after 10 days, so when it didn't, I decided to get foolish and go down the same road called "Risk" again and presto!!! It worked!?!
    If it is as you say, Windows hanging onto something into the Windows.old, why would that be? It's not suppose to do that, is it?
    No, it's not supposed to do that. It's a quirk that happens sometimes. Rare, but it does.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  4.    31 Oct 2017 #193

    Ok, let's all have a moment of silence. I got this rig up and running again. We tried to find the Windows.old with some kind of program (finddata) or something like that and no way could that file be found.
    Anyway, had to wipe the SSD / copy from the old HD back to the SSD, downloaded Windows 10 Fall update and all is operating within normal parameters.
    Now the Windows.old is looking me right in the face again and asking me to delete it. No way hozay!!! I don't care if that thing remains there for the next 50 years, this will be two times down my computer did not reboot after removing that thing. ALTHOUGH, I'm beginning to question myself if I did not type in the Command Prompt "RD / S/Windows" ... instead of RD /s Windows.old.
    Also, I did not take ownership of that Folder before I run that command either, although I'm not sure if that would cause the system to go tummy up.
    I was thinking I copied and pasted that command in but whatever, when I hit the Enter Button, there was files being removed on warp drive and it went on for 8-10 seconds. I'm thinking that's too long for a supposed empty Folder for Windows.old.
    Or am I incorrect in that assumption.
    Whatever, I'm leaving it alone. I might mention Windows.old is showing 38.4 Gigs on Disk. Last night, when I removed that file, I only retrieved 9 Gigs. Anyone know why that is?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    12 Nov 2017 #194

    Man, I asked for a moment of silence, not a week! Permit me to add once again to this 20 page scroll. That this is an ongoing issue with no actual solution that works for everyone, proves that Microsoft has not got a handle on it yet or are they actually trying?
    My system gained near 20 Gigs of space yesterday with the Windows.old still on the system. Though "most" of the contents were removed, the directory & sub-directories were not. Will the rest of it delete itself? That is the question but spite the variety of solutions out there to get rid of it, there is always that risk that it will cause the system not to reboot. So once again, I'm not buying into the suggestions to remove it or how to remove it until I get bored and want more grief.
    Last edited by Maggidon; 13 Nov 2017 at 03:03.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    18 Feb 2018 #195

    Tried all your suggestions, not just the one below, and the Windows.old will not delete.

    Successful: takeown /F "C:\Windows.old" /A /R /D Y

    Successful: icacls "C:\Windows.old" /grant *S-1-5-32-544:F /T /C /Q

    Access Denied and lists all folders and files: RD /S /Q "C:\Windows.old"
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  7. Posts : 28,637
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17655
    Thread Starter
       18 Feb 2018 #196

    rdwray said: View Post
    Tried all your suggestions, not just the one below, and the Windows.old will not delete.

    Successful: takeown /F "C:\Windows.old" /A /R /D Y

    Successful: icacls "C:\Windows.old" /grant *S-1-5-32-544:F /T /C /Q

    Access Denied and lists all folders and files: RD /S /Q "C:\Windows.old"
    What did Option 3 report back?
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  8.    18 Feb 2018 #197

    This is a tablet and I can't run diskpart from boot so I am not getting the correct information.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  • Posts : 28,637
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17655
    Thread Starter
       18 Feb 2018 #198

    If you're able to boot from a Windows 10 installation or recovery USB on the tablet, you should be able to do Option 3.


    Was Option 4 or 5 at least able to delete the previous version of Windows in the Windows.old folder to free up most of the space used by the folder?
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  •    18 Feb 2018 #199

    2 deleted files but the "Windows.old > Windows" folder is still showing.

    I can't even boot into bios, I am going to try and find a way to boot into command prompt.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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