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How to Remove Windows.old in Windows 10

If a user upgrades Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 to Windows 10 and reset or refresh their personal computer, they may notice that the system consumes a lot of spaces of its primary disk compared to its previous Windows.

It is probably because the system keeps the previous Windows installation and user’s personal files, which stored on the primary disk (C:\). These files and information stored in a folder named Windows.old.

Also, it happens when you use the Custom installation to install the latest OS on the same virtual disk as the old Windows OS, without performing a clean install.

To that end, here are the summaries on some inquiries concerning the topic and how to delete Windows.old Windows 10.

Quick Overview of the Windows.old Folder

Windows.old is a folder that has been a part of the system upgrade process, and it starts with one of the previous versions of Windows OS (Windows Vista). This folder contains a copy of the last OS or version.

You can locate this folder on the ThisPC > C:\

The system will create the Windows.old folder after an update or upgrading to another version of Windows. For example, an update from earlier Windows 10 version to April 2018 Update, or an upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 10.

It is also stored your original personal files and data from previous Windows. If the user chooses to Keep nothing, these files are temporarily kept in this folder, and it will automatically remove by the system in 10 days. The next choice is 30 days.

What is the Windows.old Folder & Previous OS Installation for?

Since this folder carries all the essential files like the previous Windows information, Program Files, copy of the user’s personal data, and anything else, you can recheck and look through the folder to make sure there are no essential files left.

The Windows.old folder also stores all the old version installation data, which allows its users to downgrade, or for rollback option to the earlier operating system if the user still prefers the previous one.

Additionally, this folder also serves as a backup. Therefore, if somehow the new operating system installation fails, the computer system can utilize the Windows.old to restore and use back the previous files and data.

Is it okay to Delete Windows.old on Windows 10?

The answer is yes, it is safe and okay to remove this folder. However, by deleting this folder, the user will not be able to do the rollback or downgrade option to the earlier update and operating system.

Plus, since these files are temporarily saved, you can just ignore it, unless you need the disk spaces severely. It’s probably cannot delete straightforwardly from your primary disk, as it requires a few methods instead of regularly remove it.

How to Delete Windows.old in Windows 10

Concerning this topic, there are several ways in which the user can apply. However, in this post, we’ll provide the easiest and simple solutions. It includes using the Disk Cleanup tool and Storage setting from the Windows Settings.

  • Disk Cleanup (cleanmgr.exe)
  • Storage settings

Method 1: Disk Cleanup (cleanmgr.exe)

Windows Disk cleanup is among the tools provided by Microsoft for maintenance purposes. This utility allows its user to quickly clean up the computer hard drive.

It scans the disk partition for old, unused, and temporary data, and let them remove these files.

Since the Windows.old folder contains such kind of files and information, this tool can be utilized to delete all these data. Therefore, the set of steps given below will show you how to do it.

  • Press Windows Key + R to launch the Run dialog box
  • Type cleanmgr and press Enter or click OK to open Disk Cleanup
  • Hit Enter or click OK. The cleanmgr tool will do the first scan (make sure the primary drive is selected)
  • Click the Clean up system files and press Enter (please ensure that you choose the primary drive)
  • After the scan completes, tick the checkbox of Previous Windows installation(s), select OK and click
  • delete Delete Files

Method 2: Storage setting

  • Open Windows Settings – Press Windows Key + I or Right-Click Start/Windows button and select Settings
  • Go to System, select Storage, and click the Configure Storage Sense or run it
  • Scroll down and find the Free up space now
  • Under the Free up space now, check the checkbox of Delete previous of Windows


  • Repeat step 1 and 2 above
  • Click Temporary files
  • After the scan completes, tick the checkbox of Previous Windows installation(s) and click Remove files button
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