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    Delete Windows.old Folder in Windows 10

    Delete Windows.old Folder in Windows 10

    What is Windows.old folder and how to delete Windows.old folder in Windows 10
    Published by Category: Performance & Maintenance
    19 Oct 2017
    Designer Media Ltd

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    What is Windows.old folder and how to delete Windows.old folder in Windows 10

    information   Information
    If you performed a refresh of Windows 10, upgrade to Windows 10, or a custom install of Windows 10 on the same partition as the previous Windows installation without doing a clean install, then you will have a C:\Windows.old folder in your new installation afterwards. The Windows.old folder contains a copy of the previous Windows installation, and can be quite large in size.

    If you already had a C:\Windows.old folder in the installation that you performed a refresh, upgrade install, or a custom install on, then it may be renamed to say C:\Windows.old.(1) (older previous installation) in addition to the latest C:\Windows.old folder. The most recent previous Windows installation will always be in the C:\Windows.old folder.

    This tutorial will show you how to delete the Windows.old and $Windows.~BT folders that has been placed in the root directory of the Windows drive when you do a refresh or upgrade install of Windows 10.

    warning   Warning
    The Windows.old folder will be automatically deleted 10 days after you upgraded.

    Be sure to copy any files that you may want out of the Windows.old folder before you delete it. Once deleted, they are gone.

    If you delete the Windows.old folder, you will no longer be able to go back to the previous version of Windows.

    You must be an administrator to be able to do the steps in this tutorial.

    Tip   Tip
    If the Windows.old folder was unable to be removed using either option below, then take ownership of the Windows.old folder and all contents, and try again.

    Owner of Files and Folders - Change in Windows 10

    Take Ownership - Add to Context Menu in Windows 10


    CONTENTS:
    • Option One: Delete "Windows.old" and "$Windows.~BT" Folders in Disk Cleanup
    • Option Two: Delete "Windows.old" Folder in Elevated Command Prompt
    • Option Three: Delete "Windows.old" Folder in a Command Prompt at Boot
    • Option Four: (recommended) Delete "Windows.old" and "$Windows.~BT" Folders in Storage Settings
    • Option Five: (recommended) Delete "Windows.old" and "$Windows.~BT" Folders in Storage Sense Settings


    EXAMPLE: Windows.old Folder
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Delete Windows.old Folder in Windows 10 OPTION ONE Delete Windows.old Folder in Windows 10
    Delete "Windows.old" and "$Windows.~BT" Folders in Disk Cleanup

    1. Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog, type cleanmgr, and click/tap on OK to open Disk Cleanup.

    2. If you have more than one drive or partition on your PC, then select the Windows C: drive, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  1-Disk_Cleanup_Windows.old.jpg
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    3. Click/tap on the Clean up system files button. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  2-Disk_Cleanup_Windows.old.jpg
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    4. If prompted by UAC, click/tap on Yes.

    5. Repeat step 2 above.

    6. Check the Previous Windows installation(s) box, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  3-Disk_Cleanup_Windows.old.jpg
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    7. Click/tap on Delete Files to confirm. (see screenshot below)

    8. When Disk Cleanup finishes, the C:\Windows.old folder will be deleted.

    Name:  5-Disk_Cleanup_Windows.old.jpg
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    Delete Windows.old Folder in Windows 10 OPTION TWO Delete Windows.old Folder in Windows 10
    Delete "Windows.old" Folder in Elevated Command Prompt

    1. Open an elevated command prompt.

    2. Copy and paste the commands below into the elevated command prompt one at a time, and press Enter after each command. (see screenshot below)
    Note   Note
    If you had another say windows.old.(1) folder that you also wanted to delete, then you could repeat these commands substituting that name instead of windows.old to also delete it.


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

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

    RD /S /Q "C:\Windows.old"

    3. When finished, you can close the elevated command prompt if you like.
    Name:  Delete_Windows.old_folder_command.jpg
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    Delete Windows.old Folder in Windows 10 OPTION THREE Delete Windows.old Folder in Windows 10
    Delete "Windows.old" Folder in a Command Prompt at Boot

    1. Boot to a command prompt at boot.

     2. To Verify the Windows 10 Drive Letter at Boot

    Note   Note
    The Windows 10 drive letter may not always be C: at boot like it is while Windows is started, so be sure to verify it's drive letter before doing the command in step 3 below for this to work.

    A) Type diskpart into the command prompt, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

    B) Type list volume into the command prompt, and press Enter.

    C) From the listed volumes, look for and verify the drive letter of your Windows 10 drive.

    D) In the command prompt, type exit, and press Enter.

    Name:  1-CMD_boot_Windows.old.jpg
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     4. To Delete the "Windows.old" Folder

    A) Type the command below into the command prompt, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)
    Note   Note
    Be sure to substitute D in the command below with the actual drive letter of your Windows 7 drive as displayed from step 2 above instead. If you had another say windows.old.(1) folder that you also want to delete, then you could repeat this command substituting that name instead of Windows.old to also delete it.

    RD /S /Q "D:\Windows.old"

    B) Close Name:  Close.jpg
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    Name:  2-CMD_boot_Windows.old.jpg
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    5. Click/tap on the Continue button to restart the computer and continue to Windows 10. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  Continue.jpg
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    Delete Windows.old Folder in Windows 10 OPTION FOUR Delete Windows.old Folder in Windows 10
    Delete "Windows.old" and "$Windows.~BT" Folders in Storage Settings

    1. Open Settings, and click/tap on the System icon.

    2. Click/tap on Storage on the left side, and click/tap on the Windows C: drive under Storage on the right side. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    3. Click/tap on Temporary files. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    4. Click/tap on the Previous version of Windows item to select (check) it, and click/tap on the Remove files button. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    5. When finished, you can close Settings if you like.






    Delete Windows.old Folder in Windows 10 OPTION FIVE Delete Windows.old Folder in Windows 10
    Delete "Windows.old" and "$Windows.~BT" Folders in Storage Sense Settings

    Note   Note
    This option is only available starting with Windows 10 build 16226.


    1. Open Settings, and click/tap on the System icon.

    2. Click/tap on Storage on the left side, and click/tap on the Change how we free up space link under Storage sense on the right side. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  Storage_sense-1.png
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    3. Check at least the Delete previous versions of Windows box, and click/tap on the Clean now button. (see screenshots below)

    Name:  Storage_sense-2.jpg
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    4. When finished, you can close Settings if you like.


    That's it,
    Shawn


  1.    04 Oct 2014 #1
    Join Date : Nov 2013
    Houston
    Posts : 2,374
    3-Win-7Prox64 2-Win10Prox64

    Another good one Shawn
    I just noticed there's a Windows defender listing on the list 3.77mg :/
    But yea Previous windows installation files 8.34gb
    That was using disk cleanup options,
    Cheers.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  2.    23 Oct 2014 #2
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Manchester CT
    Posts : 361
    Windows 10 Fast Ring

    This tutorial did not originally work when I tried it on the windows.old folder that was generated by the Win 10 9860 update. My fault was not bothering to scroll down and checking the box to delete the "previous windows install" box. I need to learn to read more and click less.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    23 Oct 2014 #3
    Join Date : Oct 2013
    Posts : 25,740
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 17046
    Thread Starter

    No worries John. We all do it from time to time.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  4.    24 Oct 2014 #4
    Join Date : Oct 2013
    Nothern Ohio
    Posts : 612
    Windows 7/64 Professional

    I put Cleanmgr on my desktop in the first version. I use it daily as I also do in W-7.

    I have found that a reboot after using Cleanmgr it does help at time. It all seem to depend on what is being removed.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  5.    08 Apr 2015 #5
    Join Date : Apr 2015
    Posts : 12
    windows 7, 8, 10, various linux flavors (in VirtualBox)

    deleting windows.old not working


    None of these options work on my system. Running VirtualBox with build 10049, installed on top of fresh 10041 (took over a day since I didn't allocate enough CPUs and RAM to the VM and every language on Earth was installed), and windows.old just seems bulletproof.

    The "Previous Windows Installation(s) checkbox isn't present.

    Tried removing "read only" attribute (everything is protected), tried del windows.old at cmd prompt w/admin rights, diskpart shows nothing...

    Sure would be nice to get that 5+ GB back!
    Last edited by extreme; 08 Apr 2015 at 02:37. Reason: adding detail
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    08 Apr 2015 #6
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Arnold, MD
    Posts : 29,676
    Triple boot - Win 10 Pro, Win 10 Pro Insider (2) - (and a sprinkling of VMs)

    Quote Originally Posted by extreme View Post
    None of these options work on my system. Running VirtualBox with build 10049, installed on top of fresh 10041 (took over a day since I didn't allocate enough CPUs and RAM to the VM and every language on Earth was installed), and windows.old just seems bulletproof.

    The "Previous Windows Installation(s) checkbox isn't present.

    Tried removing "read only" attribute (everything is protected), tried del windows.old at cmd prompt w/admin rights, diskpart shows nothing...

    Sure would be nice to get that 5+ GB back!
    Did you do this step? It should work.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  7.    08 Apr 2015 #7
    Join Date : Apr 2015
    Posts : 12
    windows 7, 8, 10, various linux flavors (in VirtualBox)

    Quote Originally Posted by f14tomcat View Post
    Did you do this step? It should work.
    Several times. That checkbox doesn't appear...
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    08 Apr 2015 #8
    Join Date : Sep 2014
    Posts : 729
    win 7 dual boot / 10

    Name:  ccleaner gets old.JPG
Views: 69997
Size:  79.9 KBI
    saw somewhere that the program called ccleaner by pinfore would clean up old windows system files
    Last edited by Charlie; 08 Apr 2015 at 15:38.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    08 Apr 2015 #9
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Arnold, MD
    Posts : 29,676
    Triple boot - Win 10 Pro, Win 10 Pro Insider (2) - (and a sprinkling of VMs)

    Quote Originally Posted by extreme View Post
    Several times. That checkbox doesn't appear...
    Can you post, please, the exact way you are running cleanmgr?
      My ComputersSystem Spec

 
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