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    Specialist of Customer Service Dept.


Some users have a Windows.old folder on the computer, but it can’t be deleted directly. Read this article and you will know what the Windows.old folder is. And we will also provide you with 4 solutions to remove the Windows.old folder in Windows 10.

What Is the Windows.old Folder?

Generally, there will be a Windows.old folder once the PC is upgraded from an old version of Windows. The Windows.old folder contains all system files and data from the previous Windows. And Windows.old folder is primarily used for keeping the previous system files so that users could use it to return to the old version of Windows. If you dislike the new operating system or want to use the old one, Windows.old will be helpful.

When upgrading to Windows 10 after 10 days, Windows will automatically delete the Windows.old folder. If it is kept and you want to free up the disk space, you could also delete it manually. Because Windows.old is large and it can take up to 10 GB or more, deleting the Windows.old will free up space and speed up the PC. However, if you directly drag it to the Recycle Bin, it won’t work. It’s suggested to delete Windows.old according to 4 solutions as below.
Delete Windows.old
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How to Delete Windows.old in Windows 10

Solution 1: Delete Windows.old via Disk Cleanup

Windows.old locates on the system disk (Generally on C: drive). To delete Windows.old in a simple and direct way, you could use disk cleanup.
Step 1: Right click the system disk and select “Properties”.
select properties
Step 2: In the “Properties” window, click “Disk Cleanup” and then click “Clean up system files”.
Disk cleanup
Step 3: In the list of “Files to delete”, check the box “Previous Windows Installation” and click “OK”.
Remove previous Windows installation
If this way doesn’t work, it’s suggested to move on to the following methods.

Solution 2: Delete Windows.old via Storage Sense

It is very simple to delete Windows.old if you use Storage sense which also supports clearing the cache. The users who are using Windows 10 Fall Creators Update or later could delete Windows.old via Storage sense.
Step 1: Press “Win” + “I” to open “Windows Settings”. Then click “System”.
open Windows 10 system settings
Step 2: Click “Storage” in the left pane and then click “Change how we free up space automatically” under “Storage Sense”.
perform disk cleanup in Windows 10
Step 3: Check the box “Delete previous versions of Windows” and then click “Remove files”.
delete previous version of Windows
If “Storage sense” is not available or it can’t completely remove the files, it’s suggested to move on to the following methods.

Solution 3: Delete Windows.old via Temporary Files

It is also very simple to delete Windows.old via temporary files. It not only supports cleaning up the old version of Windows but also the Recycle Bin and downloaded files.
Step 1: Press “Win” + “I” to open “Windows Settings”. Then click “System”.
open Windows 10 system settings
Step 2: Click “Storage” in the left pane and then click the “system disk” icon under “Local storage”.
local storage
Step 3: After you go into the “This PC” window, click “Temporary files”.
temporary files
Step 4: Check the box “Previous version of Windows” and then click “Remove Files”.
Remove previous Windows installation
If the above methods can’t remove the Windows.old from your PC, please try the following advanced solution.

Solutions 4: Delete Windows.old via Command Prompt

Please note that this way requires administrator privilege. If you don’t have it, it’s suggested to create an administrator account at first or contact your administrator.
Step 1: Type “cmd” in the search box. Right click “Command Prompt” and select “Run as Administrator”.
enable command prompt
Step 2: In the Command Prompt, type in: RD /S /Q %SystemDrive%\windows.old. Press “Enter”.
Delete Windows.old via Command Prompt

How to Recover Accidentally Deleted Files

In the process of deleting Windows.old folder, if you accidentally delete the important files, you should stop the cleaning process immediately and use the data recovery tool to recover the target file as soon as possible. It is recommended to use Renee Undeleter which is a professional data recovery software! It can help you quickly recover deleted files as long as they don’t get overwritten.

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Step 1: Launch Renee Undeleter and select “Fast Partition Scan” function.

This function supports to recover deleted files due to emptied recycle bin or Shift + Del.

Three Scan modes

Step 2: Choose the partition where you save the deleted files to scan.

If the files were saved in desktop or disk C, please stop using the computer and disconnect it from Internet. Because any Internet surfing operation will create cache which will overwrite your lost files. Then you may lose the chance to recover the data back.
select a drive to scan

Step 3: Select “Fast Scan” and click “Next” to process the scan.

Please note that “Fast Scan” in “Fast Partition Scan” will just scan the 30GB of the free space. If you can not find the target files after scanning, please use ”Deep Scan” in “Fast Partition Scan”. Of course, this scan mode will take more time.
Select fast scan mode in renee undeleter

Step 4: Preview files in the scan result to check the quality when scan is processing.

Files in BMP, GIF, PNG, JPEG, JPG, TIF, DOC, DOCX, HTM, PDF, PPT, PPTX, RAR, XLS, XLSX, ZIP formats could be preview before recovery.