How to Remove Windows.old Folder After Windows Upgrade / Update

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Recently I updated my existing Windows 10 Home Edition version with the latest Microsoft definition updates available for my Windows version. I was updating almost after 1 year of my Windows installation so it was like a fresh New Windows installation and all the Updates / Upgrade process took around 4-5 hours. Everything was working amazingly fine and was very happy with the lightning fast performance and newly added features but soon I opened my Drive explorer I was amazed to see “Low Disk Space Warning” on my Windows (C:) drive. After analyzing deeply I found Windows.old folder being created in the same Windows Drive and was occupying almost 18 GB of my useful drive space. Though I got an intuition regarding what this Windows.old is all about but to make sure what actually it is I searched over Internet and found the below information and could be handy for any who has witnessed this Windows.old folder creation for the first time.

What is Windows.old folder and Why it is being Created ? Is it Harmful to Delete ? Is it Important to Keep the Windows.old folder ?

As the name suggests, Windows.old folder is nothing but can be understood as a copy of your Previous Windows installation containing all your applications and system files intact for the purpose of restoring back / going back to your previously installed windows version in case you happen to face some performance or driver issues (most likely like WiFi, Bluetooth connectivity issues) etc. you can always revert back safely to your previous windows version by making use of this Windows.old folder. That’s the reason it is being created as a precautionary measure and is actually a good move from Microsoft because there are very high chances of facing some new issues post new Windows installation / Windows Update / Windows Upgrade.

How to Remove Windows.old Folder - 1

Now the important question that arises within users mind (especially those who are very much concerned about the disk utilization space or are running out of disk space) is whether is it safe to keep the Windows.old folder or not. Obviously, the answer to the question is a definite Yes but still if you want to get some free space or are in urgent need for some space then there is no harm in deleting the Windows.old but before that make sure that you have used the newly updated Windows for 2-3 days and confirmed all the functions / drivers are working properly. If you find everything okay and perfect then you are good to go ahead with the removal of Windows.old folder.

I guess I have answered all the important questions regarding Windows.old folder and now here comes the most important part that is “How to remove Windows.old folder post Windows upgrade” since the usual folder deletion process doesn’t work out. So check below the detailed step by guide on how to remove windows.old folder after windows 10 upgrade.

How to Remove Windows.old Folder After Windows Update / Upgrade – Steps to Follow

Well as discussed above the usual process of folder deletion doesn’t work out and even at some sites you will find an option to delete through Command prompt (CMD) and the command that I used was something like “RD /S /Q %SystemDrive%\windows.old” but that also didn’t worked despite running the CMD with Run as Administrator rights as I was still facing some sort of Access denied error while deleting those files. Not sure if that has worked out for some other users but anyways you don’t need to worry because there’s a much simpler and easier method to get rid of this Windows.old folder and thereby drastically reducing your disk occupied space.

  • Open My Computer (Drive Explorer) -> Perform a Right Click on your Windows Drive (i.e. the drive in which you are seeing the Windows.old directory) and select Properties ->  Click on Disk Cleanup (Highlighted in yellow in the below attached screen shot) and then click on Clean up system files and Click on OK.

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  • Now wait for few seconds till the Windows collects the data and a new Window will open where you will be able to see “Previous Windows installation(s)” along with the size occupied by the folder. You just need to check mark the box besides this option and click on OK and Windows will take care of the rest of the things.

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Note – Despite after performing the Disk cleanup process you might see the Windows.old folder again in the directory though the size would be very less in KB’s and you might be not be able to delete that folder. So you can just hide that folder in order to avoid seeing that folder again or check with below third party tool if that helps out to clean fully.

Third Party Software’s – Well in most of the cases I try to avoid the use of third party software’s because most of them are not trusted and are usually trial based versions. But I always prefer and have recommended one Freeware tool that is “CCleaner” and is an amazing plus must have tool for every Windows user as that not only cleanse up your Junk files but also optimizes your overall system performance by optimizing your Windows registry, Disk drives, Browser cache etc. and much more thereby providing an overhaul performance for your complete Windows.

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