If you have installed Windows 10 recently, you have probably noticed that there is a folder called Windows.old on your primary partition. What is it exactly? Why is it taking a huge amount of space on my Hard disk? Can I delete Windows.old folder? If yes, how do I delete it?
Those are the questions I have been getting lately via emails from my faithful readers 🙂 . Let’s find out what this mysterious file called ‘Windows.old’ is all about.
What is Windows.folder?
If you have just upgraded to Windows 10 or did a custom install on the same partition as your previous Windows version, your Windows will automatically create a Windows.old folder. In case you already had a Windows.old before upgrading, then your current Windows version will be backed up and renamed to
C:\Windows.old.000 in addition to the Windows.old folder.
The Windows.old folder is simply a copy of the previous Windows installed on your machine. As such it contains your drivers, program files, user settings and pretty much everything else that usually goes within the Windows folder.
Windows 10 keep this folder just in case something went wrong during the upgrade process, or if it happens that you noticed that your hardware is running slow after the upgrade and needs to rollback to its previous version.
Is it safe to delete Windows.old folder?
It depends. In case you have just upgraded and still playing around to make sure your hardware and software are running smoothly as before, it’s wiser to keep it – better safe than sorry.
However, you should not wait too long to decide – a month after your installation, Windows 10 will automatically delete it for you without any notification.
If you think you won’t need to downgrade to Windows 10 anytime soon and go back to your previous Windows version, then feel free to delete the Windows.old folder.
I have personally deleted mine after the upgrade since I was in serious shortage of free disk space. The Windows.old folder can easily consume 15 GB or more space. If you are in the same boat, then feel free to remove it.
How to delete Windows.old folder?
Deleting this folder is really easy! In most of the cases, you will just need to right-click and select
delete. However, it can get a little trickier sometimes – you might run into permission-related errors. If this is the case, you should delete the Windows.old folder using the built-in Disk Cleanup utility.
- From your desktop, click on Windows Search (yes, the magnifying glass icon) and type
- Once you open it, you will be asked to select a drive. Normally, it should be the
C:\drive. Then click
- The Disk cleanup utility will now search for ‘debris’ on your computer. Once the search is completed, You should see
Previous Windows installation(s)in the list of files that can be deleted.
- Once you have selected it, click
ok. You will be prompted to confirm the deletion. Click on
Delete Files. This should do the trick now!
If you are not able to see it, you might need to click on
Clean up System filesfirst.
Drop me a comment below if you have any issues or questions regarding the Windows.old folder. I’ll be happy to help!