How to Remove the Windows.old Folder: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you ready to say goodbye to that pesky windows.old folder? Look no further! This guide will walk you through the process of removing it from your system, freeing up valuable space and keeping your computer running smoothly. It’s a simple task that anyone can accomplish, so let’s dive in!

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Remove the Windows.old Folder

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of deleting the windows.old folder, let’s understand what we’re dealing with. This folder is created when you upgrade from one version of Windows to another, and it contains all the files and data from your previous installation. It’s like a safety net, in case you want to revert to the old version. However, if you’re happy with your new setup, there’s no need to keep it around. Let’s get started on removing it.

Step 1: Open Disk Cleanup

Open the Disk Cleanup utility by typing “Disk Cleanup” into the search bar and selecting it from the list of results.

Disk Cleanup is a built-in Windows tool that helps you free up space on your hard drive by removing temporary files, system files, and other items you no longer need.

Step 2: Select the Drive

Choose the drive where Windows is installed (usually the C: drive) and click OK.

Disk Cleanup will calculate how much space you can free up on the selected drive.

Step 3: Click on “Clean up system files”

After the initial scan, click on “Clean up system files” to include the windows.old folder in the list of items to be deleted.

You might be prompted to confirm that you want to use admin privileges to clean up system files. Go ahead and confirm – it’s necessary to remove the windows.old folder.

Step 4: Select “Previous Windows Installation(s)”

Check the box next to “Previous Windows Installation(s)” in the list of files to delete. This is the windows.old folder that you’re looking to remove.

Be sure that you want to delete this folder, as it’s not reversible. Once you’ve made your peace with saying goodbye to your old Windows installation, you’re ready for the next step.

Step 5: Click OK and then “Delete Files”

Finally, click OK and then “Delete Files” to confirm that you want to permanently delete the windows.old folder.

A prompt may appear warning you that you won’t be able to restore the machine back to the previous version of Windows. If you’re sure you want to proceed, click “Yes” to start the cleanup process.

Once you’ve completed these steps, the windows.old folder will be gone, and you’ll have reclaimed some precious space on your hard drive.

What Happens After Removing the Windows.old Folder

After successfully deleting the windows.old folder, you’ll notice an immediate gain in storage space. Your computer might also perform slightly faster since there’s less clutter for your system to manage. Just remember, once the folder is gone, you can’t go back to your old Windows version without a fresh install.

Tips for Removing the Windows.old Folder

  • Make sure you’re satisfied with your new Windows installation before deleting the windows.old folder, as it contains the files necessary to revert to your old version.
  • The windows.old folder is automatically deleted after ten days if you do nothing, but if you need space urgently, you can remove it manually.
  • Always back up your important files before removing system folders, just to be safe.
  • If you encounter permission issues while trying to delete the folder, make sure you’re logged in as an administrator.
  • Use the Disk Cleanup tool rather than manually deleting the folder to avoid potential system errors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I remove the windows.old folder immediately after upgrading Windows?

Yes, you can remove the windows.old folder immediately after upgrading, but it’s a good idea to make sure your new installation is running smoothly first.

Will my personal files be affected when I remove the windows.old folder?

No, your personal files won’t be affected. The windows.old folder only contains system files from your previous Windows installation.

What if I don’t see the option to delete “Previous Windows Installation(s)” in Disk Cleanup?

If you don’t see this option, it may have already been automatically removed, or you might need to run Disk Cleanup as an administrator.

Is it safe to remove the windows.old folder?

Yes, it’s safe to remove the windows.old folder if you’re sure you won’t need to revert to your previous version of Windows.

What should I do if I can’t delete the windows.old folder?

If you’re having trouble deleting the folder, restart your computer and try again. If the issue persists, you might need to take ownership of the folder or use a third-party cleanup tool.


  1. Open Disk Cleanup
  2. Select the drive where Windows is installed
  3. Click on “Clean up system files”
  4. Select “Previous Windows Installation(s)”
  5. Click OK and then “Delete Files”


Well, there you have it, friends! Removing the windows.old folder isn’t rocket science, but it sure does give you that extra space and a sense of cleanliness on your computer. Remember, before you dive into cleaning up, ensure you’re happy with your current Windows installation, as there’s no turning back after you’ve removed the folder. A clean system is a happy system, and who doesn’t want a machine that runs like a dream? So go ahead, follow these simple steps, and enjoy the benefits of a spruced-up PC. If you ever find yourself struggling or have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Happy computing!