How to Delete Windows.old Folder in Windows 10
InformationIf 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.
WarningBe 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.
TipIf 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
- Option One: Delete "Windows.old" Folder 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: Delete "Windows.old" Folder in Settings
EXAMPLE: Windows.old Folder
OPTION ONEDelete "Windows.old" Folder 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)
3. Click/tap on the Clean up system files button. (see screenshot below)
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)
7. Click/tap on Delete Files to confirm. (see screenshot below)
8. When Disk Cleanup finishes, the C:\Windows.old folder will be deleted.
OPTION TWODelete "Windows.old" Folder in Elevated Command Prompt
1. Open an elevated command prompt.
2. In the elevated command prompt, copy and paste the commands below, and press Enter after each one. (see screenshot below)
NoteIf 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.
attrib -r -a -s -h C:\Windows.old /S /D
RD /S /Q %SystemDrive%\windows.old
3. When finished, you can close the elevated command prompt if you like.
OPTION THREEDelete "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
NoteThe 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) In the command prompt, type diskpart, and press enter. (see screenshot below)
B) In the command prompt, type list volume, 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.
4. To Delete the "Windows.old" Folder
A) In the command prompt, type the command below, and press enter. (see screenshot below)
NoteBe 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 the command prompt.
5. Click/tap on the Continue button to restart the computer and continue to Windows 10. (see screenshot below)
OPTION FOURDelete "Windows.old" Folder in 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)
3. Click/tap on Temporary files. (see screenshot below)
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)
5. When finished, you can close Settings if you like.
- How to Open and Use Disk Cleanup in Windows 10
- How to Remove Temporary Files in Windows 10
- How to Go Back to Previous Version of Windows in Windows 10
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,