By Dervish / Last Updated March 7, 2022

What is the Windows.old folder?

Windows.old folder is a folder in system partition (usually C: drive) that contains previous Windows installation, program files and all the data of Users. It is processed after you upgrade your Windows operating system to a new one.

If something is not right or you just cannot get used to the new operating system (OS), you can use the Windows.old folder to downgrade Windows 10. While using the new system, you might find out that there are some of your personal files that are not copied to the corresponding folder. With this folder, you can move your files from C:\Windows.old to the equivalent location. This is a great move of Microsoft because it gives you an extra layer of protection while reinstalling Windows.

Warning: Windows will automatically delete the Windows.old in Windows 10 after the upgrade for a month. If you want to keep it much longer, you can back up it in advance.

Can you delete Windows.old folder?

Now, you should have a basic understanding of what Windows.old folder is and what it can do. There are chances that your C drive is almost full and you consider whether you can delete Windows.old folder manually which takes up a lot of disk space to solve the issue.

The answer is positive! But after deleting the folder, you will be unable to downgrade your current system to prevision. If you want to keep it, you can backup or copy the folder to another location.

Delete Windows.old folder step-by-step

You are not allowed to remove Windows. old folder in File Explorer. If you really want to delete it to free up disk space on C drive, follow the steps given below:

Step 1. Type “disk cleanup” in the Windows search box, then select Disk Cleanup in the search results.

Step 2. In the pop out window, select C: to clean up and click “OK”.

Select Drive C

Step 3. Wait till the Disk Cleanup for (C :) are open. Then click the "Clean up system files" option.

Clean System Files

Step 4. Check the "Previous Windows installation(s)" option and click “OK” it starts the disk cleanup. You can also select other files to delete by checking the relative boxes.

Delete Windows Old

If you are now running Windows 10, you don’t have to worry about it consuming disk space for too long as Windows 10 will automatically delete Windows.old folder in 30 days after the upgrade.

How to keep Windows.old folder?

As aforementioned, if you want to keep the Windows.old folder much longer, you can copy or backup it. Have a look at how to back up Windows.old folder.

Step 1. Free download a free Windows backup software, AOMEI Backupper Standard Install and run it.

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 2. Click the “Backup” tab, and choose “File Backup”.

File Backup

Step 3. Click“Step 1”and then “Add Folder” to include the Windows.old folder in the backup. You can also select other folders and files as well.

Add Folder

Step 4. Click "Step 2” to choose a backup target location to save the image backup file.

Select Location

Step 5. Click “Start Backup” to start the backup process.

Without even disturbing you from using the computer, the program will complete the Windows.old folder backup in the background. Additionally, you can also use the software to synchronize folders to other location, create Windows bootable media and so on.