What is the Windows.old Folder?
Have you recently upgraded from an old version of Windows? Have you stumbled across a Windows.old folder on your computer, and it’s using up a large amount of disk space?
Well the good news is, you can delete it. However you cant just delete it like you would a normal folder.
The Windows.old folder has been around for some time and you will only be seeing it if you purchased a new version of Windows or you decided to install a fresh version of Windows without deleting the old version.
Before deleting the Windows.old folder i would recommend checking to make sure you have backed up all data.
Upon opening the folder you will gain access to your previous version of Windows as well as your old user profile, the path to this would be: C:\Windows.old\Users\<YOURUSERNAME>
How to Delete the Windows.old Folder to Free Up Space?
The Windows.old folder can take up quite a bit of space. In a best case scenario, it might be 12 GB or so of hard disk space. But it could easily consume 20 GB or more, depending on how large your previous Windows installation was.
If you try to delete the Windows.old folder from File Explorer like you would any other folder, you’ll receive an error message. You could
potentially bypass this error message by modifying the Windows.old folder’s permissions. However, you don’t need to bother with that.
To delete this folder the easy way, use the Windows Disk Cleanup tool. In Windows 10, click the Start button, search for “Disk cleanup,” and then launch the Disk Cleanup app. You can also right-click the C:\ drive in File Explorer, select Properties, and then click the “Disk Clean-up” button on the “General” tab.
Click the “Clean up system files” button. You’ll see an option for “Previous Windows installation(s)” appear in the list of things you can delete, and Disk Cleanup will tell you how much space those files are taking up. Select that option and use Disk Cleanup to wipe the previous Windows system files away. You can also use this tool to delete other unnecessary files taking up space on your system drive.
There’s no downside to removing the Windows.old directory. As long as you’re happy with your current Windows system and don’t want to downgrade—and as long as you’re sure you have all your important files and don’t need to grab a straggler from the Windows.old folder—you can go ahead and remove it. And remember, Windows will automatically remove the Windows.old folder a month after you upgrade, anyway.