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What is Windows.OLD and how to Delete the folder in windows 10

After Upgrade To Windows 10 21H2 update, you may notice a low disk space problem, Windows Installation Drive Get full. That’s because Windows installs a completely new version and keeps the old one around named windows.old folder. This copy is a safeguard mechanism in case something goes wrong during the installation process. Or just in case you want to go back (downgrade) to the previous version.

What is Windows.old Folder?

While Upgrade to New Version Windows Keeps The old files on Windows.old Folder, Which contains all Windows operating system files, Documents and Settings, Program Files, and installed apps. In Other Words, The Windows.old Folder is created If you install a newer version of Windows on a computer on which an earlier version of Microsoft Windows is installed. You can use this folder to retrieve any documents from your old installation by press Win + R, Type %systemdrive%\Windows.old click ok. Then Retrieve the files from the Windows.old folder. Also, It can be used to restore your system to the old version of Windows if you don’t like the new version.

This means if something bad happens, the operating system can use the backup copy to roll back any change automatically. Or in the case of Windows 10, you also get the option to go back to your previous version of the operating system within the first month if you don’t like it.

Note: Bellow Steps Are Applicable to Delete Windows.old Folder on Windows 10, 8.1, and Windows 7.

How To Delete Windows.old Folder

Since the Windows.old folder contains all Windows operating system files and installed apps, it takes a significant amount of disk space. In some cases, the Windows.old folder size might go up to 10 to 15 GB, depending on the total size of the previous Windows installation. If you decide that you’re happy running Windows 10 current version and don’t want to roll back. Then you can simply delete the windows.old folder to save hard disk space. Or will get deleted automatically usually by Windows after a set period of time.

Delete windows.old Folder

So If you Are happy With the Current Windows version, Looking to Delete Windows.old Folder to Free up Disk Space. But while Simply Right Click on Windows.old and select Delete doesn’t allow removing the folder? Because this is a special folder that can only be deleted from the disk cleanup application. Let’s See How to Remove Windows.old Folder permanently.

First click on Start menu Search, Type Disk cleanup, and hit the enter key. Select the Windows installed Drive ( usually its C: drive) if your windows disk is not already Selected, then Click ok.


This will scan system error memory dump files, Memory dump files wait flew moment. When the Disk Cleanup utility has loaded, click on the Cleanup system files button under the Description section.

cleanup System files

Click OK again when the drive letter is displayed. The Disk Cleanup window will appear again. After the utility scans your computer, scroll through the list and check the box next to Previous Windows installation(s). Here you can also choose to delete other installation-related files, including Windows upgrade log files and Temporary Windows installation files, which can take up several GB of storage as well.

Remove Previous Windows installations

Click OK, and then click Delete Files on the confirmation screen to proceed. As the Disk Cleanup utility begins processing, you will be prompted once again before the old Windows installation files are deleted. Click yes when prompted. The delete process will take some time after it is completed, the Disk Cleanup utility will close and files in the Windows.old folder will be removed freeing up a significant amount of disk space.

Delete windows.old without disk cleanup

Yes, you can also use a command prompt to delete files and folders from an earlier installation of Windows. To do this open Command Prompt as administrator. first type Bellow commands to Take ownership of the folder.

takeown /F C:Windows.old* /R /A

cacls C:Windows.old*.* /T /grant administrators:F

This will grant Administrators, Full rights to all Folders and files, Now type the below command to Delete windows.old Folder.

rmdir /S /Q C:Windows.old

remove windows.old using cmd

This will delete the windows.old folder. Also, you can use Third-party Applications like CCleaner to clean up Windows.old Folder.

I hope After reading this post you can easily Delete Windows.old folder and Free up some Disk space. Note: We suggest leaving Windows.old folder where it is until you’ve made sure you’re happy with your upgrade, and all your files and settings are in place. Also, Read

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