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Windows 7: Windows.old Folder - Delete



Windows.old Folder - Delete

How to Delete the Windows.old Folder in Windows 7
Published by Brink
02 Aug 2009
Published by

How to Delete the Windows.old Folder in Windows 7

information   Information
If you performed repair install, upgrade install, or a custom install without formatting the drive for a clean install and selected to install Windows 7 on the same partition of the previous Windows installation, then you may have a C:\Windows.old folder left over in your new installation.

If you already had a C:\Windows.old folder in the installation that you performed a repair install, upgrade install, or a custom install on, then it would be renamed to say C:\Windows.old.000 (older previous installation) in addition to the C:\Windows.old folder. The most recent previous installation will always be in the C:\Windows.old folder.

This will show you how to delete the Windows.old folder(s) generated during the installation to free up the hard drive space that the Windows.old folder(s) takes.

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Note   Note
The C:\Windows.old folder contains folders and files from the previous Windows installation. Be sure to copy any files or data that you may still want to keep to another location before deleting this folder.
Tip   Tip
For how to

restore a Windows 7-based computer to a previous Windows installation by using the Windows.old folder, see: How to restore a Windows 7-based computer to a previous Windows installation by using the Windows.old folder
warning   Warning
Be sure to copy any files that you want out of the Windows.old folder before you delete it. Once deleted, they are gone.

You must logged in as an administrator to be able to do the steps in this tutorial.


EXAMPLE: Windows.old Folder
NOTE: Notice how much space this folder uses.
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OPTION ONE
Delete "Windows.old" Folder Using Disk Cleanup
1. Open Disk Cleanup.
2. If prompted, select the Windows 7 C: drive, and click on OK. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: You will only see this if you have more than one HDD or partition with a drive letter.
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3. Click on the Clean up system files button. (see screenshot below)
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4. If prompted by UAC, then click on Yes.

5. Repeat step 2 above.

6. Check the Previous Windows installations box, and click on OK. (see screenshot below)
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7. Click on Delete Files. (see screenshot below)
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8. When Disk Cleanup finishes, the C:\Windows.old folder(s) will be deleted.
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OPTION TWO
Delete "Windows.old" Folder Using Elevated Command Prompt
1. Open a Elevated command prompt.

2. In the elevated command prompt, copy and paste the command below, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: If you had another say windows.old.000 folder that you also wanted to delete, then you could repeat this command substituting that name instead to also delete it.
RD /S /Q %SystemDrive%\windows.old

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3. Close the command prompt.




OPTION THREE
Delete "Windows.old" Folder Using Command Prompt at Boot

NOTE: This would be a good option to do if OPTION ONE or OPTION TWO was unable to delete your C:\Windows.old folder.
1. Open the Disk Management (diskmgmt.msc), and make note of the name (ex: none) and total size (ex: 126 GB) of your Windows 7 drive. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: You will need to know this in step 3C.
Windows.old Folder - Delete-disk_mangement.jpg
2. Using either you Windows 7 installation DVD or system repair disc, boot to a command prompt at boot (click on link for how).

3. To Verify the Windows 7 Drive Letter at Boot
NOTE: The Windows 7 drive letter may not always be C: at boot like it is while Windows is started, so be sure to verify it's drive letter before doing the command in step 4 for it to work.
A) In the command prompt, type diskpart and press enter. (see screenshot below)

B) In the command prompt, type list volume and press enter. (see screenshot below)

C) From the listed volumes, look for and verify the drive letter (ex: D: ) of your Windows 7 drive (ex: 126 GB w/ no name). (see screenshot below)

D) In the command prompt, type exit and press enter. (see screenshot below)
Windows.old Folder - Delete-cmd-1.jpg
4. To Delete the "Windows.old" Folder
A) In the command prompt, type the command below and press enter. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: Be sure to substitute D in the command below with the actual drive letter of your Windows 7 drive as displayed from step 3 above instead. If you had another say windows.old.000 folder that you also want to delete, then you could repeat this command substituting that name instead of Windows.old to also delete it.
RD /S /Q "D:\Windows.old"
B) Close the command prompt window.
Windows.old Folder - Delete-cmd-2.jpg
5. Click on the Restart button to restart the computer and start Windows 7, and to verify that the Windows.old folder has been deleted.
Windows.old Folder - Delete-cmd-3.jpg
That's it,
Shawn






.

03 Aug 2009   #1
Tweety

Windows 7 RC Build 7100
 
 

Thank you! I now have 13gb of free space added to my hard drive.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

03 Aug 2009   #2
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

You're welcome Tweety.

Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Aug 2009   #3
Professional

Windows Vista Home Premium x64
 
 

wooow nice tutorial,tnx admin.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Aug 2009   #4
Zidane24

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 - Mac OS X 10.6.4 x64
 
 

I might be mistakened but I believe that the Windows.old folder has no additional permissions applied to it...you should be able to just delte the folder like any other
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Aug 2009   #5
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

You're welcome Profesional.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Aug 2009   #6
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Zidane24 View Post
I might be mistakened but I believe that the Windows.old folder has no additional permissions applied to it...you should be able to just delte the folder like any other
Hi Chris,

Other than having to approve the deletion for a few system files in that folder, I had no problems with just right clicking on it and deleting it. There have been quite a few people that have reported not to be able to do so though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Aug 2009   #7
Zidane24

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 - Mac OS X 10.6.4 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Hi Chris,

Other than having to approve the deletion for a few system files in that folder, I had no problems with just right clicking on it and deleting it. There have been quite a few people that have reported not to be able to do so though.
That is strange...Shawn what is your normal setting for UAC...just a theory but if UAC is set to max and then an install is placed on the older one...maybe UAC permissions keep in place.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Aug 2009   #8
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

I have my UAC set to max.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Aug 2009   #9
Zidane24

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 - Mac OS X 10.6.4 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
I have my UAC set to max.
there goes that theory...I have no clue why others have issues with this
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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