What is Window.old Folder and should you keep it?

Posted by Britt Duncan - August 26, 2014

You may notice a enormous file folder named Windows. old in the C: drive and start to wonder what is it for and why should your keep it or not. After all, with that space cleaned up, you can free up much space inside the system and stop receiving the annoying messages stating that you are run out of disk space. What should you know about Windows.old folder? Finish the post below to find more information.




filefolderWhat is Windows.old File Folder?

The Windows.old folder is created to store your original files during your upgradation from former version of Windows to a newer one. This is a protection action to protect your files and data in case something goes wrong during that process and you can then roll back to the previous installation. Since this is copy of your previous Windows installation, this folder can be bulky with all your settings, files, date and programs and take up much system space.

Then, should you remove this folder?

It’s suggested that you do that only after you make sure you don’t need to retrieve any files, like bookmarks, shortcuts, installed programs or saved passwords from it. Because the removal of Windows.old is a irreversible process. If you delete it, it will be gone. A word of caution again, you can remove the folder after you make sure you won’t need it any more.


filefolderHow to remove it if you don’t want to keep it?

There are two handy ways for you to delete this Windows.old folder. You can try delete it with disk cleanup or command line.


filefolderTo remove Windows.old with disk cleanup

Click Win + R to bring up search box, put it disk manager in the search field and select it from the appearing search results. Select your drive from the Drive selection box and hit OK.





Next, click the Clean up system files button at left bottom of dialogue box.



Tick the check-box before Previous Windows installation(s) and hit OK.




Thus, Windows will begin to sort out disk space as required.

filefolderTo remove Windows.old with Command Prompt

Hit Win + X on the keyboard to open power user task menu and select Command Prompt (Admin) from the list. When seeing the UAC prompt, click Yes to proceed.



After the Command prompt pops up, type the command line RD /S /Q %SystemDrive%\windows.old and hit Enter.




That will trigger off the removal process of Windows.old folder, then close the command prompt box.


That’s it, you will notice a large part of system resource being released after that.

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TESTED:  20 Apr