Can I Delete Windows.Old File in Windows 11/10 [Explained]

Want to delete Windows.old file to free up more space? But do you figure out these questions: What is Windows.old file? Can I delete Windows.old file? Is it safe to delete it? In this post, you will get explanations in detail and learn some other tricks to free up C drive space.


By Hedy / Updated on May 12, 2023

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Something you should know about Windows.old file

◉ What is Windows.old file?

When you upgrade your system to a new version like from Windows 10 to Windows 11, Windows.old folder will be generated automatically to contain the previous Windows installation, program files, and all the data of users. Usually, Windows.old file is saved in C drive under the Windows.old folder. You can find it in File explorer.


With Windows.old file, you can roll back to the previous Windows if something goes wrong suddenly or you're not satisfied with the new system, and you can use it to restore some individual files and programs that aren't copied to your new Windows installation.

However, many users notice that their C drive gets full quickly after a Windows update. This is because Windows.old file usually occupies 15-20GB of  storage, which depends on how much is your previous system.

In such a case, you may ask: can I delete Window.old file from my PC so as to free up disk space. Scroll down to get the answer.

◉ Can I delete Windows.old file?

The answer is affirmative! Of course, you can delete Windows old Windows 11. After a Windows update, Windows.old folder will be deleted after 4 weeks by default. Thus, if you have made sure that all your files are safe on the new Windows OS and no longer have any use for Windows.old file, you can delete them manually to solve the full system drive issue.

◉ Is it OK to delete Windows.old?

But is it safe to delete the Windows.old folder? Yes. Deleting Windows.old files won't do any harm to your PC as long as you apply the right methods. If you're running low on disk space and are 100% sure you won't want to go back to the previous Windows, you can delete it via the following ways. If you want to keep it much longer in case of any system crashes, you can back up it in advance.

How to delete Windows.old files in Windows 10/11?

This part will show you 3 easy ways to delete Windows old Windows 11/10: Using the Disk Cleanup, the Storage Settings, and the Command Prompt.

▶ Method 1. Delete Windows.old using Disk Cleanup

Deleting Windows.old file is not simple as deleting a single file by hitting the delete key or directly dragging it to the Recycle Bin, so you can use Disk Cleanup in Windows to remove it.

Step 1. Search for "Disk Cleanup" in the search bar, and select the Disk Cleanup app.

Step 2. In the pop-up window, select C drive where the Windows.old is often stored.

Step 2. Click "Disk Clean-up", and then click "Clean up system files".


Step 3. Select "Previous Windows installation(s)" from the list of files to delete and click "OK".


▶ Method 2. Delete Windows.old using Windows Settings

Another way is to use Windows Settings to delete Windows.old folder in temporary files. You can refer to the following steps to master how to delete Windows.old files Windows 10 via Settings:

Step 1. Press "Window + I" keys to launch the Windows settings.

Step 2. Go to "System > Storage > This PC (C:) > Temporary files".

Step 3. After the scan, tick the option "Previous Windows installation".


Step 4. Click on "Remove files" to delete the Windows .old folder effectively.

▶ Method 3. Delete Windows.old using CMD

The third way is to use Command Prompt, a command-line based utility that helps manage your disks and partitions effectively. If the above two methods don't work great for you, you can switch to Command Prompt. Let's see how to delete Windows.old files on CMD.

Step 1. Type "cmd" in the search box and select "Run as administrator" to open Command Prompt.

Step 3. In the popup window, type the following three lines one by one and hit "Enter" to execute the commands:

takeown /F c:\Windows.old\* /R /A /D Y


cacls c:\Windows.old\*.* /T /grant administrators:F

rmdir /S /Q c:\Windows.old

2 bonus tips: Free up system drive space after deleting Windows.old file

As mentioned above, the main reason induces you to delete the Windows.old file is the low disk space on the system C drive. However, what if your C drive is soon crowded after the removal of Windows.old folder? In such a case, you need to try other ways to free up more space.

AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, an all-in-one disk manager for Windows 11/10/8/8.1/7/XP users, can easily and securely help you resolve insufficient disk space issues. You can clean up the junk files on your computer first and then try the following two features to get more free space on the C drive.

Download Pro DemoWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Tip 1. Move apps to another drive

When using the computer, most programs and applications are stored on the C drive by default. So, the capacity of drive space decreases gradually. If you move these apps to another drive, you can release much free space on the C drive.

Step 1. Install and open AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional and go to "Free up" > App Mover".


Step 2. Select the C drive and click on "Next".


Step 3. Tick the apps you want to move, select the destination drive, and click on "Move".


Step 4. Hit "OK" to confirm the prompt and then, the app transferring process will start.


Step 5. After it's done, click on the "Finish" button.

▌ Tip 2. Allocate free space to C drive

"C drive full, D drive empty" is a common issue for most users. If you don't want to move programs out from the C drive and wish to make use of the available space of D drive, allocating the free space from D drive to C drive is a good idea. And the steps are very easy to master:

Step 1. Run the AOMEI product, right-click drive D (or other partition with enough space) and select "Allocate Free Space".


Step 2. Set the size you want to move to C drive, then click "OK".


Step 3. Click "Apply" to commit the whole operation.


Final Words

Can I delete Windows.old file? Now, you have known the answer is yes and also known how to delete Windows.old files Windows 10 with three useful methods. If you want more free space from the C drive, AOMEI Partition Assistant would be a good helper. What's more, you can also use this tool to clone system disk as a backup, migrate OS to another drive, convert MBR to GPT, etc.

Hedy · Staff Editor
Hedy is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is very good at solving problems of partition management, and she wants to share all the problems she had already solved to users who met the same questions.