Step-by-Step Guide on How to Delete Windows.old

Deleting Windows.old – The Ultimate Guide

Have you ever upgraded your Windows operating system to a newer version? If so, you may have noticed a folder called “Windows.old” in your system drive that takes up a significant amount of space. This folder contains the old version of your system files, and if you’re happy with the new version, you don’t need it anymore. In this guide, we’ll show you how to safely and effectively delete the Windows.old folder from your computer.

Step-by-Step Guide to Deleting Windows.old

We’ve broken down the process of deleting the Windows.old folder into twelve simple steps. Follow these steps carefully, and you’ll have more space on your hard drive in no time.

Step 1: Open Disk Cleanup
The first thing you need to do is open Disk Cleanup, a built-in Windows utility that helps you free up disk space. To open Disk Cleanup, right-click on your system drive (usually C:) in File Explorer and select “Properties.” Then click on “Disk Cleanup” under the General tab.

Step 2: Choose Clean up system files
Once Disk Cleanup opens, you need to select “Clean up system files” to clean up all system files on your disk, including Windows.old.

Step 3: Select Previous Windows installation(s)
Disk Cleanup will now scan your drive for system files. When it’s finished, it will present you with a list of files to delete. Look for “Previous Windows installation(s)” in the list and make sure it’s checked.

Step 4: Click OK
Once you’ve selected the files you want to delete, click “OK” to start the cleanup process.

Step 5: Confirm deletion
Windows will now ask you to confirm that you want to delete the selected files. Click “Delete Files” to proceed.

Step 6: Wait for the cleanup process to finish
The cleanup process may take a while to complete, depending on how many files you’ve selected. Be patient and wait for it to finish.

Step 7: Restart your computer
Once the cleanup process is finished, Windows will ask you to restart your computer to complete the deletion process. Click “Restart Now” to do so.

Step 8: Open the Command Prompt
After your computer has restarted, you need to open the Command Prompt as an administrator. To do so, right-click on the Start button and select “Command Prompt (Admin).”

Step 9: Type “cd\” and hit Enter
In the Command Prompt, type “cd\” (without the quotes) and hit Enter. This will take you to the root directory of your C: drive.

Step 10: Type “RD /S /Q Windows.old” and hit Enter
Now you need to type “RD /S /Q Windows.old” (without the quotes) and hit Enter. This command will delete the Windows.old folder permanently.

Step 11: Confirm deletion
Windows will now ask you to confirm that you want to delete the Windows.old folder. Type “Y” and hit Enter to proceed.

Step 12: Wait for the deletion process to finish
The deletion process may take some time to complete, depending on the size of the Windows.old folder. Be patient and wait for it to finish.

Tips and Tricks

1. Make sure you really don’t need the Windows.old folder before you delete it. Once it’s gone, you won’t be able to recover any files from it.
2. If you have upgraded your system multiple times and have multiple Windows.old folders, delete only the ones associated with the oldest version of Windows to free up maximum space.
3. Use external hard drives or cloud storage services to back up important data before deleting system files.
4. If you’re having trouble deleting the Windows.old folder, try running Disk Cleanup as an administrator or booting into Safe Mode.
5. After deleting the Windows.old folder, run Disk Cleanup again to ensure maximum space has been freed up.
6. Keep your computer free of clutter and regularly clean up unnecessary files to prevent accumulation and the need for manual deletion.
7. If you’re unsure about how to use the Command Prompt, research and learn more before proceeding with the deletion process.
8. Always be careful when deleting system files and follow instructions carefully to avoid causing harm to your computer.
9. Deleting the Windows.old folder can free up significant space on your hard drive and improve system performance.
10. Enjoy your newly freed up space and faster system performance!

Advantages and Disadvantages of How to Delete Windows.old


1. Frees up disk space: Deleting Windows.old frees up significant space on your hard drive, which can be used to store other files or software.

2. Faster computer performance: With more space available, your computer’s performance may improve, as it has more room to operate optimally.

3. Reduced clutter: Removing Windows.old reduces the clutter on your computer, making it easier to find and organize your files.

4. Enhanced security: Removing Windows.old also removes potential vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers to gain access to your system.

5. Improved efficiency: Deleting Windows.old can speed up the time it takes for your computer to boot and shut down, reducing downtime and increasing productivity.

6. Eliminates confusion: Keeping old versions of Windows on your system can be confusing and lead to errors when installing updates or new software, deleting Windows.old simplifies the process.

7. Helps maintain system health: Removing Windows.old can help keep your computer healthy and running smoothly, reducing the risk of software or hardware failure.

8. Ensures compatibility: Deleting Windows.old minimizes the risk of compatibility issues between your current Windows version and any new software or hardware you wish to install.

9. Saves time: Removing Windows.old can save time on backups, as there is less data to backup before making changes to your system.

10. Lower maintenance costs: Keeping Windows.old on your system can increase maintenance costs as hardware and software upgrades may not support older versions of Windows. Removing Windows.old can save money in the long run.


1. Risk of data loss: Deleting Windows.old can make it difficult to restore files or data from a previous version of Windows.

2. Initial setup required: After deleting Windows.old, you may need to reinstall applications and other software that were previously installed.

3. May cause compatibility issues: The process of deleting Windows.old can cause compatibility issues with applications or software that rely on specific system files.

4. May void warranty: Deleting Windows.old may void the warranty of the computer or device, leading to additional repair costs if something goes wrong.

5. May require technical expertise: The process of deleting Windows.old may require technical expertise, which can be challenging for some users.

6. Affects restore points: Deleting Windows.old removes all restore points associated with the previous version of Windows, making it harder to recover from system issues.

7. System instability: Removing Windows.old may cause system instability or crashes if incompatible drivers or software become installed.

8. Cannot revert to previous version: Deleting Windows.old makes it impossible to revert to the previous version of Windows without a complete reinstallation.

9. Risk of malware infection: When deleting Windows.old, you may accidentally infect your computer with malware or viruses if you download or install malicious software.

10. Loss of activation privileges: Deleting Windows.old may result in the loss of activation privileges for certain software, requiring users to purchase new licenses.

How to Delete Windows.old


1. What is Windows.old?

Windows.old is a folder created by Windows when you perform an upgrade installation or install a new version of Windows on your computer. It contains the previous version of Windows and all its files, including user profiles and system files.

2. Why should I delete Windows.old?

You should delete Windows.old if you need to free up disk space on your computer. The folder can take up a lot of space, and it’s unlikely that you’ll need its contents once you’ve upgraded or installed a new version of Windows.

3. Can I delete Windows.old immediately after upgrading or installing a new version of Windows?

No, you should not delete Windows.old immediately after upgrading or installing a new version of Windows. Windows may need the files in the folder to complete the installation process or to revert to the previous version of Windows if something goes wrong.

4. How long should I keep Windows.old?

You should keep Windows.old for at least a few weeks to make sure that your new version of Windows is functioning properly. After that, you can delete the folder to free up disk space.

5. How do I delete Windows.old?

You can delete Windows.old using Disk Cleanup, which is built into Windows. To do so, right-click the Windows icon on your taskbar, select “Disk Cleanup,” and then click “Clean up system files.” Check the box next to “Previous Windows installation(s),” and then click “OK” to delete the folder.

6. Can I delete Windows.old manually?

Yes, you can delete Windows.old manually, but it’s not recommended. If you’re not familiar with the Windows file system, you could accidentally delete important files or cause problems with your system. It’s better to use Disk Cleanup to delete the folder.

7. Will deleting Windows.old cause any problems?

No, deleting Windows.old will not cause any problems with your system. The folder contains files from the previous version of Windows, which are no longer needed, and deleting them will free up disk space.

8. How much space will I free up by deleting Windows.old?

The amount of space you’ll free up by deleting Windows.old depends on the version of Windows you’re running and how many files it contains. Generally, you can expect to free up several gigabytes of space.

9. What should I do if Disk Cleanup doesn’t delete Windows.old?

If Disk Cleanup doesn’t delete Windows.old, you can try using a third-party disk cleanup tool or deleting the folder manually. However, as mentioned earlier, it’s not recommended to delete the folder manually if you’re not familiar with the Windows file system.

10. What should I do if I accidentally deleted Windows.old?

If you accidentally deleted Windows.old, don’t worry. You can still recover some of the files using data recovery software. However, you may not be able to recover everything, so it’s important to back up your files regularly.

11. Will deleting Windows.old speed up my computer?

Deleting Windows.old may free up some disk space, which can improve your computer’s performance if you were running low on storage. However, it won’t have a significant impact on overall speed.

12. What else can I do to free up disk space on my computer?

You can free up disk space on your computer by deleting unnecessary files and programs, using Disk Cleanup regularly, and by storing files in the cloud or on an external hard drive.

13. Should I delete other files that Disk Cleanup suggests?

It depends on the files in question. Generally, you can delete files that are listed in Disk Cleanup without any issues. However, if you’re not sure what a file does or if it’s important, it’s best to do some research or consult with a professional before deleting it.


Deleting windows.old is an essential process to free up space on your computer after upgrading to a new version of Windows or performing a clean install. While the process might seem daunting at first, following the steps outlined in this article can help simplify the process and make it much more manageable.

Remember, before you delete any file or folder, make sure to back up your important data to avoid losing any crucial information. Additionally, always exercise caution when deleting system files, as deleting the wrong file could result in serious issues with your computer.

By following the steps outlined in this article and exercising caution, you can safely and efficiently delete windows.old and free up valuable space on your computer.


Thank you for taking the time to read this article on how to delete windows.old. We hope that you found the information provided helpful in completing this process. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to Microsoft support or seek assistance from a knowledgeable computer technician.

Remember to always back up your data and exercise caution when deleting system files. Until next time, happy computing!