When you upgrade to a new version of Windows, your old operating system is saved in the windows.old folder. This allows you to return to your previous Windows version if required.
However, if you’ve been using the new operating system for a while, and are satisfied with it, then windows.old folder takes up space on your hard drive needlessly. Therefore, you may want to delete it to free up space.
This guide shows you how to delete the windows.old folder on Windows.
Using File Explorer
File Explorer is the default file manager app in Windows that helps you manage all the files stored on your computer. You can use it to delete the Windows.old folder.
Note: This method does not work on all computers.
- Click the Windows key + E shortcut on your keyboard to open File Explorer.
- Open the Local Disk (C:) drive. If your Windows is installed on another drive, open that drive instead.
- Find the Windows.old folder and right-click it. Select the trash button.
- A popup message will ask you to provide administrator permission to delete the Windows.old folder. Click Continue to confirm.
Using Disk Cleanup
Disk Cleanup is a built-in tool in Windows that helps you delete temporary and unnecessary files to free up space on your hard drive. You can also use it to delete the Windows.old folder.
- Search for “Disk Cleanup” in the Windows search bar and click the first result to open the tool.
- Select the drive where you installed windows. By default, it’s the C: drive. Click OK to scan the selected drive.
- Click Clean up system files.
- Select the drive again and click OK to scan for system files that Disk Cleanup can delete.
- Check the box next to Previous Windows installations in the list. Click OK.
- A confirmation window will pop up. Click Delete Files to delete the Windows.old folder.
Using Temporary Files Settings
Deleting temporary files via settings will also delete the Windows.old folder.
- Go to Start and click the Settings icon.
- Go to System > Storage.
- Click Temporary files.
- Check the box next to Previous Windows installation(s), then click Remove files to confirm.