After upgrading to Windows 10 or clean install from the previous Windows without format the C:\ partition you will see the folder Windows.old located at the system drive. This Windows.old is useful in case the upgrade/install process goes wrong. You can use it to roll back the previous Windows if any fails during upgrade/installation.
The Windows.old folder will occupy many gigabytes of space in the system drive. Once your Windows 10 can work smoothly after upgrading/installing you should remove the Windows.old folder after 1-2 days to reclaim gigabytes of space.
Here are some tips to help you safely get rid of the Windows.old
Delete the Windows.old folder by using Temporary files
Go to Settings/System/Storage, Navigate and click to the Temporary files
As you can see, the Previous Windows installation(s) below take 5.84GB of the system drive space. Tick to the checkbox then click on the Remove files button.
Delete the Windows.old folder by using Storage sense
Go to Settings/System/Storage, Navigate and click to the Configure Storage Sense or run it now
Scroll down to the bottom, Windows have an option for us to delete the previous version of Windows tick to the checkbox then click on the Clean now button, Windows will take care all the rest. As a note, the Windows.old will be automatically deleted after 10 days.
Delete the Windows.old folder by using Disk Cleanup
Here the method I’ve usually used before. Start from Windows search then put the keyword disk cleanup you will see the Disk Cleanup
The fastest way is to copy this line to Start -> run c:\windows\SYSTEM32\cleanmgr.exe /cDrive it will direct you to the drive that you wish to clean up, in this demo is drive C.
Click on the Clean up system files
Wait for a while.
Tick to the Previous Windows installation(s) checkbox then click on OK to proceed with the removal.
Delete the Windows.old folder by using batch script
This is the last method, I have usually used it to remove the Windows.old folder for a bunch of remote Computers.
Please note that if you are not sure what you are running, you may use the other above methods.
The short script has only 3 rows.
TAKEOWN /F %SystemDrive%\Windows.old /A /R /D Y
ICACLS %SystemDrive%\Windows.old /T /grant :r Administrators:F
RD /S /Q %SystemDrive%\Windows.old
Wrap all the rows in a single batch file then go ahead. You may need to run the script twice to make sure the Windows.old gone away.
Run the batch file with the highest privileges.
ok, that’s it, I hope these tips will help you safely remove the Windows.old folder and get back the system drive space.
Thank you for reading.