How to Delete Windows.Old

Remove previous Windows installation files to free up hard drive space. If you’ve upgraded to a new version of Windows at some point, then a significant portion of your previous operating system’s files are likely still sitting on your hard drive in a folder named Windows. old. Deleting these files can free up some precious space.

Table of Contents

How to Delete Windows.Old, follow the steps

Before You Begin:

Consider making a system restore point and backing up important files before moving through with the deletion process. Having a backup ensures that you can retrieve your data in the event of any unanticipated problems, even if the process is normally secure.

  • Create a System Restore Point: This ensures that you can revert to your current state if anything goes wrong during the deletion process.
  • Backup Important Files: Back up any important files to an external drive or cloud storage to avoid accidental data loss.

Step 1: Run Disk Cleanup:

Windows comes with a built-in utility called “Disk Cleanup” that enables you to get rid of pointless system files like Windows.old. Performing Disk Cleanup

  • 1. To launch the Run dialog box, use the Windows key + R.
  • 2. Press Enter after typing “cleanmgr“. The Disk Cleanup tool will launch as a result.
  • 3. From the drop-down menu, choose the drive that contains Windows’ installation (often the C: drive).
  • 4. Click “OK” and wait for Disk Cleanup to determine how much space can be made available.
  • 5. Check the box next to “Previous Windows installation(s)” and any other things you want to delete in the list of files to delete.
  • 6. When prompted, select “OK” and then confirm the deletion.

Step 2: Delete Windows.old Manually (If Necessary):

The Disk Cleanup tool may occasionally fail to entirely delete the Windows.old folder. If the folder is still there, you can manually remove it by doing the following:

1. By pressing the Windows key and E, launch File Explorer, then go to the C: drive.

2. Right-click the “Windows.old” folder after locating it.

3. “Delete” should be chosen in the context menu. In case you are asked for administrative permission, select “Continue.”

4. The length of time it takes to delete a folder will depend on its size.

5. Remember to clear your Recycle Bin after deleting the folder in order to permanently free up the space.

Step 3: Confirm Windows.old Deletion:

After deleting the Windows.old folder, it’s essential to confirm that it’s entirely gone:

1. Reopen Disk Cleanup by following the instructions in Step 1 to do so.

2. To launch Disk Cleanup with administrative rights, click “Clean up system files”.

3. Choose the proper drive (often C:) and wait for the scan to be finished.

4. Verify that “Previous Windows installation(s)” is listed among the files that should be deleted. If it’s not there, Windows.old has been effectively deleted.

How to delete Windows.old in Windows 10, 8, or 7.

Please follow the steps below to delete Windows. old in Windows 10, 8, or 7.

Step 1- 

Enter the following text in the Windows search field, located in the lower left-hand corner of your screen or accessible via the Start Menu button in older operating system versions: disk cleanup

Step 2-

Click on the Disk Cleanup option, if necessary.

Step 3-

The Disk Cleanup application should now appear, overlaying your desktop. Click the Cleanup system files button. There will be a brief delay at this point, as Disk Cleanup analyzes your hard drive and calculates how much space it might be able to clear up. The length of this delay will vary based on the size of your drive and the number of files currently stored on it.

Step 4-

Once scanning and analysis is complete, the main Disk Cleanup window will re-appear with new options listed in the Files to delete: section. Locate the option labeled Previous Windows installation(s). This might be labeled Older versions of Windows instead, depending on your operating system. Place a checkmark next to this option by clicking on its accompanying checkbox once.

Step 5-

Remove the check marks next to other items in the list, unless you want to remove those from your hard drive as well.

Step 6-

Click on the OK button to initiate the deletion process. Once complete, Windows. old and its contents should be completely removed from your PC.

Additional Tips for Deleting Windows.old:

  • External Backups: Before beginning any deletions, make a backup of crucial files to an external storage device or a cloud service. This guarantees that you have a secure backup of your data.
  • Hidden Files: By default, the Windows.old folder may be hidden. To see hidden files, click to File Explorer > View > Options > Show Hidden Files. View tab > Change folder and search options Check the box next to “Show hidden files, folders, and drives.”
  • Disk Space: Removing Windows.Depending on the size of your prior installation, the old folder can free up a large amount of space, potentially several gigabytes.
  • Storage Sense (Windows 10): Storage Sense is a feature in Windows 10 that automatically frees up space by eliminating superfluous files, including prior Windows installations. Storage Sense may be enabled in Settings > System > Storage > Configure Storage Sense or run manually.
  • Command Prompt (Advanced Users): If you’re familiar with command-line operations, you can remove the Windows.old folder with the “RD /S /Q” command. When utilizing command-line tools, however, use caution and make sure you’re targeting the correct folder.
  • Disk Cleanup Alternatives: In addition to built-in Disk Cleanup, there are third-party disk cleanup tools available that offer more advanced options for cleaning up your system and freeing up space.


You may free up a lot of space on your hard drive and maintain the performance of your system by eliminating the Windows.old folder. Always proceed with caution and make a backup before doing anything, whether you choose to manually delete the folder or use the built-in Disk Cleanup tool. Once you’ve verified the deletion, you can take use of the extra storage space you now have and the improved responsiveness of Windows. You can concentrate on what really counts – making the most of your Windows PC – with a cleaner and leaner installation!

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