When you upgrade your Windows operating system to a newer version, such as Windows 10 to 11 or Windows 11 version 22H2 to 23H2 you may notice a folder named “Windows.old” taking up a significant amount of space on your system drive. This is because Windows installs a completely new version and keeps the old one around named windows.old folder. This article explores purpose of the Windows.old folder, whether you should consider deleting it or not.
What is Windows.old Folder?
The “Windows.old” folder is essentially a backup or archive of your previous Windows installation. During the upgrade process, Windows preserves the files, settings, and configurations from the previous version and stores them in this folder. This ensures that if you encounter any issues with the new installation or need to revert to the previous version for any reason, you can do so without losing your data or settings.
contains all your old system files and personal files, and you can use it to revert to the old version of Windows if you want to
Should I Delete the Windows.old Folder?
The decision to delete the Windows.old folder depends on various factors, including your disk space requirements, system stability, and backup options. Here are some points to consider:
The Windows.old folder can occupy a significant amount of disk space, especially if you have a large number of files on your system. If you’re running low on disk space and need to reclaim storage, delete the Windows.old folder can free up valuable space for other purposes.
If your current Windows installation is stable and functioning well, and you have no intention of reverting to the previous version, delete the Windows.old folder should not cause any issues.
Keep in mind that deleting the Windows.old folder will permanently remove the previous installation of Windows from your system.
Delete Windows.old Folder Using Disk Cleanup
Well If you’ve decided to delete the Windows.old folder to reclaim disk space, you can do so using the built-in Disk Cleanup utility in Windows.
- Press Windows key + R, type cleanmgr and click ok to open disk cleanup tool,
- Select the Windows installed Drive (usually its C: drive) then click OK.
- Disk Cleanup will calculate how much space you can free up on the drive.
- When the Disk Cleanup utility has loaded, click on the Cleanup system files button under the Description section.
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.
- Click OK, and then click Delete Files on the confirmation screen to proceed.
The delete process will take some time, after it is completed, the Disk Cleanup utility will close and you will notice it free up a significant amount of disk space.
Delete Windows.old Folder Using Storage Settings
Also, you can safely delete the “Windows.old” folder using Storage Settings in Windows, free up valuable disk space on your system.
- Press Windows key + I to open the settings app
- Select system then scroll down and click on the Storage option.
- Wait for the Storage feature to analyze disk space and files. Then click on the Temporary Files option.
- Here, you will see a list of all the items that are taking up space on the C drive and are not needed anymore. Click on the Previous Windows Installation(s) checkbox to select it.
- Then click on the Remove Files button at the top
- It will take a while to delete the Windows.old folder and other temporary files on the C drive.
Delete Windows.old Folder Using CMD
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
This will delete the windows.old folder. Also, you can use Third-party Applications like CCleaner to clean up Windows.old Folder.
Alternatively, you can manually delete the “Windows.old” folder by navigating to the root directory of the drive where Windows is installed (usually the C: drive), right-clicking on the folder, and selecting “Delete.” However, this method is not recommended unless you’re confident in your ability to identify and delete the correct folder.