How to Safely Delete Windows.old Folder on Windows 10

When you upgrade your Windows installation to a newer version of Windows, a folder Windows.old gets created. This folder is also created when you upgrade your Windows 10 to the Creators Update.

Deleting the folder Windows.old manually can cause lot of problems and may crash your system. Even using CCleaner to remove the Windows.old folder can cause problems, this happened to me this morning, my system just won’t boot! I had to reinstall Windows 10 using a USB created using the Media Creation Tool.

Basically the Windows.old folder contains all files and apps from the previous Windows installation and in case of a Windows 10 upgrade to the Creators Update some files are actually needed for your system to work properly, so please don’t use the CCleaner method or the command line.

In some cases the size of the Windows.old folder may go up to 20 GB! So if you want to save some space deleting your

Users who have an SSD may find deleting Windows.old folder useful

Also, don’t remove Windows.old folder if you plan to revert back to the old Windows system in the future.

Delete Windows.old folder Using Disk Cleanup

Tap Windows+E to open the Explorer window and go to “This PC“. Locate your system drive, here Windows is installed on C:.

Right-click on your system drive and choose “Properties“.

Under the tab “General” click on the button “Disk Cleanup” situated under the Capacity graph.

Once the Disk Cleanup windows has opened, click on the button “Clean up system files” at the bottom.

Wait for a couple seconds…

Now you will have the option “Previous Windows installation(s)“, please check the amount of disk space it occupies. If it’s a small space then there is no need to remove the folder Windows.old!

Check it and click “OK“.

A dialog asking for confirmation will show up, click “Delete Files“.

Wait for a couple minutes, the time it will take depends on how much space will be deleted during the process.

If everything went as expected, you won’t see a Windows.old in the root of your system drive.

Delete Windows.old Folder Using Command Prompt

Again, don’t use this method if you just upgraded to the Creators Update.

Open the power user menu using Windows+X keyboard shortcut and hit A key to open the Command Prompt as administrator.

After the Command Prompt is opened, execute the following command:

RD /S /Q %SystemDrive%\windows.old

There you have it!

You just learned how to get rid of Windows.old the safe way!

If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below this tutorial.



The author:

Soufiane is a young computer scientist and specialist in web design, knows a lot of things in the computer world. This enthusiast enjoys helping people innovate and learn more about the IT world...

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