Overview – Delete Windows.old Folder
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.
By the end of this article, you will be able to delete Windows.old Folder:
When to Delete Windows.old folder and when not to
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. Delete Windows.old Folder Manually
1. Using File Explorer
Step 1: Open the file explorer or “This PC” app.
Step 2: Out of all the available drives on your computer, double-click and open the primary 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.
2. Delete Windows.old Folder Automatically
1. Using Disk Cleanup Tool
Step 1: In the start menu, search for the “Disk Cleanup” tool and run it as an administrator.
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.
2. Using Storage Sense
Step 1: Type and open the “Windows Settings” from the Start menu or by pressing the “Windows + I” key combination.
Step 2: Select the “System” option from the left sidebar and click the “Storage” option.
Step 3: Toggle on the “Storage Sense” button and configure it depending on your preferences.
Read More: Configure Storage Sense in Windows 11.
Pros of deleting Windows.old folder
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.
Cons of deleting Windows.old folder
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.
FAQs Related to Windows.old Folder
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.
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.
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