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How to Delete Windows.old Folder in Windows 11 (All Methods)

It seems that you’re looking to increase some storage in your device by wiping out some unused files, especially the previous windows installation files.

The Windows Old Folder (also known as the Previous Windows Installation Folder) is a collection of files retained from the previous version of Windows. Depending on the usage, prior Windows version, and data stored, the Old Windows Folder allocates roughly 15-25 GB of disc space.

size of windows.old folder in c-drive in windows 11
Estimated Size of windows.old folder

By the end of this article, you will be able to delete Windows.old Folder:

Once the Windows.old folder is deleted, the device can no longer be rolled back to the previous OS. You should delete the Windows.old folder only if you have been using Windows 11 for a while and updated the Windows version at least once.

If you delete the Windows.old folder too soon, you may run into problems since the system can’t be rolled back to Windows 10 if there are compatibility concerns.

It is recommended to avoid deleting the Windows.old folder immediately after the installation of a new version of Windows. This helps to ensure that Windows is stable even after updates.

1. Using File Explorer

Step 1: Open the file explorer or “This PC” app.

"This PC" icon in Windows 11
“This PC” icon

Step 2: Out of all the available drives on your computer, double-click and open the primary drive.

open main local c-drive to locate windows.old folder
Open Main Drive

Step 3: Delete the Windows.old folder by pressing the “Delete” key on your keyboard and click the “Continue” button to provide administrative access to delete the folder.

delete windows.old in windows 11
Delete Windows.old folder

1. Using Disk Cleanup Tool

Step 1: In the start menu, search for the “Disk Cleanup” tool and run it as an administrator.

disk cleanup app icon in windows 11
Disk Cleanup App Icon

Step 2: To delete the Windows.old folder, check the Windows Update Cleanup, Windows Upgrade Log Files, and Previous Windows Installation options, and press the “OK” button.

select the windows update cleanup, windows upgrade log files, previous windows installation options
Selecting the files to be deleted

2. Using Storage Sense

Step 1: Type and open the “Windows Settings” from the Start menu or by pressing the “Windows + I” key combination.

windows setting app in windows 11
Windows Settings App

Step 2: Select the “System” option from the left sidebar and click the “Storage” option.

click the storage option in system settings
Storage option

Step 3: Toggle on the “Storage Sense” button and configure it depending on your preferences.

toggle on the storage sense option
Toggle on the button

Read More: Configure Storage Sense in Windows 11.

1. Free up Storage

The windows.old folder consumes about 15-25 GB of storage depending on the previous windows versions, old stored files, configurations, etc. So, deleting it can save a lot of space from the device.

2. Possible Virus Removal

If your old Windows version possessed any virus, then there is a possibility that the virus is present in the windows.old folder as well. So, removing this folder will remove the virus as well unless it somehow manages to locate itself in another directory in Windows.

1. Unable to Restore Files from Previous Version Windows

If you selected to delete all the files while upgrading to the new version of Windows, then the files will be stored in windows.old folder, and if you want to restore the files, you can do so. But, after deleting the windows.old folder it is not possible to restore the old files.

2. Unable to Roll Back to Previous Windows Version

The windows.old folder hold all the previous windows installation files and they play a major role to roll back Windows to its previous version. If the folder is deleted, it will not be possible to recover the previous version of windows.

How do I restore the system from Windows.old folder?

To restore the system from Windows.old folder, Go to Windows Settings > Update & Security > Recovery > Click the Get Started button to recover the Windows old folder. For the first 28 days after installing a new Windows version, you can recover the system from the Windows.old folder. After this time period has elapsed, you will no longer be able to restore the system from the Windows old folder.
Read More: Retrieve Files from Windows.old Folder.

How to restore files from Windows.old folder?

To restore files from Windows old folder, go to This PC > Main Local Disk Drive (in some cases, recovery drive) > open windows old folder > copy files to restore > paste files on your latest windows.

Is it safe to delete Windows.old folder in Windows 11?

Yes, deleting the Windows.old folder is safe unless you have no plans to revert to an earlier version of Windows. The major purpose of the Windows.old folder is to revert the system to a prior version of the Operating System if the current OS fails to function correctly due to misconfiguration, system incompatibility, or other issues.

Next Steps

We’ve covered how to delete Windows.old folder in Windows 11.

Windows old folder is a backup folder that is created after the installation of new Windows. This folder contains system files and programs from the previous installation of Windows. You can use this folder to restore files, but if you delete this folder without backing up your data, then there won’t be any way for you to recover them.

The methods listed in this article can be used to delete old windows folder in previous versions of Windows including Windows 10 and Windows 8 as well.

Further, customize your computer by following the related articles below.

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