If you’ve recently upgraded your Windows operating system and checked the C Drive, there is a chance that you will find a Windows.old folder there, which occupies a lot of your disk space. Are you wondering what the Windows.old folder is? Is it safe to delete the Windows.old folder? Then you are at the right place. Here, we are going to guide you through this.
The Windows.old folder is generated by the Windows operating system when you upgrade from one version of Windows to another. It contains all the files and data from your previous Windows installation, including Windows system files, user account settings, User Profile, User Folder files, etc.
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What is the Windows.old Folder?
The Windows.old folder is designed to store all the files and data from your previous Windows installation, allowing you to revert to the previous version if needed. When you upgrade your Windows operating system, the installation process moves your old system files, settings, and data into the Windows.old folder.
In the event that your upgrade goes wrong, you can restore Windows to the previous version using this Windows.old folder.
However, if everything went fine, and you want to delete this folder, then read this guide till the end. Here, we will discuss how to safely delete the Windows.old folder in Windows 11.
Is It Safe to Delete Windows.old Folder?
Yes, if you decide to stick with the new version of the Windows operating system and all your files are safe, you can delete the Windows.old folder from your Windows 11 PC to free up disk space.
Deleting the Windows.old folder has no effect on your computer. The Windows.old folder contains all the files and data that were installed in your previous Operating system. As a result, deleting the Windows.old folder will only remove all of the files and data from your previous Windows installation.
How to Delete Windows.old Folder in Windows 11
Now, let’s discuss how you can delete the Windows.old folder to free up disk space. You can either delete it using File Explorer or the Disk Cleanup tool. So, let’s discuss them one by one.
If you prefer a video tutorial, you can watch the video mentioned below:
1. Using File Explorer
First, let’s discuss how we can delete the Windows.old folder using the Windows File Explorer. For that, follow the steps below:
1. Open File Explorer. Here, open the Local Disk (C:) drive.
2. Here, you will find the Windows.old folder inside the C Drive, along with other standard folders in Windows 11.
3. Now, to delete it, right-click the folder and click on the Delete icon from the context menu.
4. Alternatively, you can also delete the Windows.old folder by clicking on the Delete icon from the top menu.
5. Windows will prompt you with a message that “You’ll need to provide administrator permission to delete this folder“.
6. If you’re logged in as an administrator, simply click Continue to delete the Windows.old folder.
That’s it! This will delete the Windows.old folder from your Windows system. However, if you’re getting a Folder Access Denied error, then you have to use another method to delete the folder.
2. Using Disk Cleanup Tool
If the Windows.old folder is not deleted using the above method. Then use the Disk Cleanup Tool to delete the temporary files from the Windows system along with the Windows.old folder.
Here are the steps to delete Windows.old folder using the Disk Cleanup Tool:
1. On the taskbar click on the Search icon and search for Disk Cleanup. Now, here select the Disk Cleanup tool and open it.
2. After that, you will find an option to select the drive you want to clean up. Here, from the drop-down menu select C: Drive and click on the OK button.
3. It will scan the drive. After the scan has been completed, you will get an option to select the type of temporary files you want to delete.
4. To delete the Windows.old folder, click on the Clean up system files option, and it will scan the temporary files again.
5. Now, it will calculate the Windows previous installation and other Windows temporary files.
6. After the scan is completed, you will see a new window where you can select the file types. To delete the Windows.old folder select the Previous Windows installation(s) option and click on the OK button.
7. After that, click on the Delete Files button to delete the folder and other Windows temporary files.
8. If this is the first time deleting a Windows.old folder, you’ll get a second notification message asking if you’re sure. Click on the Yes button to verify, you want to delete it.
9. Now, allow time for Windows to remove the Windows.old folder and any other items you select. The amount of time it takes will vary based on the size of the folder.
That’s it! This is how you can delete the Windows.old folder from your system by following the above-outlined methods. However, you can also configure Storage Sense to automate this process and clean up old and temporary files in Windows 11. To do so, check out our guide on how to use Storage Sense in Windows 11.
By deleting the Windows.old folder in Windows 11, you ensure that your system doesn’t run out of storage and gives you optimal performance on your system.
He is a prominent tech writer with over six years of experience and the founder of TheCoderWord. He delivers high-quality content revolving around troubleshooting and how-to guides for Windows, Linux, macOS, Chrome, and more.