With continuous updates and increasing enhancements, the operating systems from Microsoft take up additional storage space. The 64-bit version of Windows 10 Home required 20 GB at the beginning, many device manufacturers now have to plan for 30 GB and more. Accordingly, it can be worthwhile to know how to delete Windows.old or similar system folders if they are no longer useful.
But can you delete Windows.old without damaging your own computer? Absolutely. Microsoft provides various mechanisms with which you yourself can remove stubborn folders. We have taken a closer look at two proven methods for you.
How to Delete Windows.old?
- Remove the Folder with the Help of Disk Cleanup
- Use the New Automatic Memory Optimization of Windows
Below we will go into these steps in more detail, but first the question remains:
What is Windows.old?
After the upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 (or basically with every update since Vista) this folder appears on your PC. In the best case, Windows.old takes up about 12 GB, but usually much more. Because Windows.old contains all the data and documents related to your old operating system. It also contains information about installed programs or former user account settings.
Thanks to this backup, it is possible to reconstruct an old system in its original form. If you learn how to delete Windows.old, you will free up disk space, but you will lose these advanced options. Because even in the normal case, it turns out to be cumbersome to recover deleted data under Windows 10 once you have deleted Windows.old.
Perform Downgrade: It’s easy on Windows 10!
You don’t like the design of the modern Windows or you miss certain features? Then switch back to a previous version quickly and without much effort, for example Windows 8.1. Right-click on the Start menu in the taskbar to open the Settings. Select Update & Security and then Restore.
Here you can see at a glance whether the system folder exists at all, and you realize how to delete Windows.old. You only have a period of 10 days to restore it. As you can see on the screenshot, the downgrade of Windows 10 also works internally, for example after a major update.
You are more interested in the look than the content of the downgrade? Then just reactivate the classic Start menu.
How to Delete Windows.old in Detail
You are welcome to try to remove the folder, as you are used to on Windows. However, you will most likely only get an error message. Therefore, proceed as follows:
Remove the Folder with the Help of Disk Cleanup
- Right-click on the Start menu and select the search command.
- Enter Disk Cleanup in the field and launch the app.
- Select the drive where your Windows.old folder is located.
- Confirm the corresponding items. The entry labeled Previous Windows installation(s) is decisive. This means Windows.old. You can also see at this point how much disk space you are actually saving.
- If you are sure that you have copied all important data, you can click OK to complete the process. Then your system will start the process of how to delete Windows.old.
Use the New Automatic Memory Optimization of Windows
- Right-click on the Start menu again, select Settings, System and switch to Memory.
- Find the memory optimization within the tab. The data of the old operating system counts to the temporary files.
- Manually click on Configure.
- Enter the desired settings.
- Now click Clean up to see how to delete Windows.old permanently.
Is it Safe to Delete Windows.old?
Generally, there are no disadvantages associated with the deletion. As mentioned before, Windows 10 will be doing this for you after a certain period of time anyway. You just have to make sure that you are satisfied with the current state of your operating system before you delete Windows.old.
At the same time, you can check one last time if you have transferred all personal and professional data correctly. If you regularly create a backup, you do not need to worry about this. You can even go one step further and store Windows.old on your external hard disk or in the Cloud if there is enough space available.
You would rather not have learned how to delete Windows.old? Alternatively you can use the enlarge partition file on which your operating system is located. Programs like Office 2019 or Office 2021 can also be downloaded and reinstalled without any problems.