Cleaning up Windows.old folder

Cleaning up the Windows.old folder is going to save you a lot of space on your hard drive, especially if you have a SSD like I do. I have been trying to figure out how to delete the Windows.old folder that is on your hard drive after you install the new Windows 10.

What is the Windows.old folder?

It turns out that during the installation, you get the Windows.old folder for the previous windows installation (if you had Windows 7, 8 or 8.1) and it takes up a lot of room (for me it was about 17.5 GIGS). That’s about 17 movies or about 10 days worth of music (if you aren’t streaming everything).

How to get rid of the Windows.old folder

I found a work around on youtube to get back that space.  I’ve tried manually deleting it, tried getting proper admin privileges to delete the folder but nothing would work. I even tried moving the whole folder onto another drive and then deleting it but that didn’t work either.

So here, do it this way and it works like a charm.

  1. Go to search and look for disk cleanup (in the video they went through admin tools but in this explanation I skipped this step)
  2. Do a scan of the drive where the OS is located
  3. Check the “clean up system files” and select the drive where windows.old is located.
  4. Do another cleanup
  5. Check all the boxes to clean up your hard drive.
  6. Click on OK and watch it do its magic!

And that is how I got back 17.5 Gigs of stuff I don’t need anymore.

Mike H.
Hi there,
I am photographer, father, son and ultimate frisbee player.
I've recently switched my career path into Mechanical Engineering.
As someone once said, "What a long, strange trip it's been."