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Windows.old Folder - Delete in Windows 8

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  1. #1
    Windows.old Folder - Delete in Windows 8

    Windows.old Folder - Delete in Windows 8
    How to Delete the "Windows.old" Folder in Windows 8 and 8.1
    Published by Brink is online now
    19 Sep 2011
    Default Windows.old Folder - Delete in Windows 8

    How to Delete the "Windows.old" Folder in Windows 8 and 8.1


    information   Information
    If you performed a refresh of Windows 8, upgrade to Windows 8, or a custom install of Windows 8 without formatting the drive for a clean install and selected to install Windows 8 on the same partition of the previous Windows installation, then you may have a C:\Windows.old folder left over in your new installation. The Windows.old folder contains a copy of the previous Windows installation, and can be quite large in size.

    If you already had a C:\Windows.old folder in the installation that you performed a refresh, upgrade install, or a custom install on, then it may 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 tutorial 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.

    warning   Warning
    Be sure to copy any files that you may want out of the Windows.old folder before you delete it. Once deleted, they are gone.

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


    EXAMPLE: Windows.old Folder


    Click image for larger version







    OPTION ONE
    Delete "Windows.old" Folder Using Disk Cleanup


    1. Open Disk Cleanup (cleanmgr).


    2.
    If prompted, select the Windows drive, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)
    NOTE: You will not see this window unless you have more than one drive or partition on your computer with a drive letter.

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    3.
    Click/tap on the Clean up system files button. (see screenshot below)

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    4.
    If prompted by UAC, then click/tap on Yes.


    5.
    Repeat step 2 above.


    6. Click/tap on the Previous Windows installation(s) box to check it, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

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    7.
    Click/tap on Delete Files. (see screenshot below)

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    8.
    When Disk Cleanup finishes, the C:\Windows.old folder will be deleted.

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    OPTION TWO
    Delete "Windows.old" Folder in an Elevated Command Prompt


    1.
    Open an 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 of windows.old to also delete it.


    RD /S /Q %SystemDrive%\windows.old



    Click image for larger version


    3. Close the elevated command prompt.






    OPTION THREE
    Delete "Windows.old" Folder in a 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.
    Press the Windows + R keys, then type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter. Make note of the name and total size of your Windows 8 drive.
    NOTE: You will need to know this in step 3C.

    2. Using either you Windows 8 installation USB or DVD or system repair disc, boot to a command prompt at boot.



    3. To Verify the Windows 8 Drive Letter at Boot
    NOTE: The Windows 8 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.


    C) From the listed volumes, look for and verify the drive letter of your Windows 8 drive.


    D) In the command prompt, type exit and press enter.

    Click image for larger version


    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.


    Click image for larger version


    5.
    Click/tap on the Continue button to restart the computer and continue to Windows 8. (see screenshot below)

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    6.
    Verify that the Windows.old folder has been deleted.

    That's it,
    Shawn




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  2. #1



    Removed by request

    Join Date : Jan 2011
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    Windows 8, x64, DP8102 - Win7 Ultimate x64, Dual Boot
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    Nice, Brink. Thanks!

    I wish I had known that earlier. Still, I accomplished the same thing with SIW2's PE DVD.

    But, again, nice tutorial.


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  3. #2
    Brink's Avatar

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    LOL, you're welcome Mike. You still got there, and that's what counts.
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  4. #3
    Bill2's Avatar

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    Join Date : May 2010
    Posts : 224


    Quote Originally Posted by mikedl View Post
    Nice, Brink. Thanks!

    I wish I had known that earlier. Still, I accomplished the same thing with SIW2's PE DVD.

    But, again, nice tutorial.
    Why did you have to use PE? Wouldnt let you delete windows.old?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #4
    Brink's Avatar

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    Hello Bill,

    It's just like it was in Windows 7 after a repair install. If the Windows.old folder is not empty due to the refresh, it will eventual give you the ole "Try again... Access Denied" type message if tried to be manually deleted. Using Disk Cleanup is one of the easiest ways to delete it.

    Windows.old Folder - Delete - Windows 7 Forums
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  6. #5
    Dave76's Avatar

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    Join Date : Oct 2009
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    Windows 8.1 Pro x64/ Windows 7 Ult x64


    Nice tut, thanks
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  7. #6
    Brink's Avatar

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    Thank you Dave.
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  8. #7
    vrosa's Avatar

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    Join Date : Jan 2011
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    Windows 8.1 Pro x64
    Brazil


    If I had seen that before it would have saved some time trying to workarround it... Anyway I was able to delete the .old folder from inside Windows 7 after taking ownership and adding new permissions.

    Thanks Brink

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  9. #8
    Brink's Avatar

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    Hello Vladimir,

    Sorry to hear that to took the long way around, but you still got there.
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  10. #9



    Junior Member

    Join Date : Oct 2011
    Posts : 9
    win8


    this is just stupid. I don't want to clean up all my previous installs. Just one of them.
    It's frustrating that this is so difficult with the new OS.
    I guess that's why apple is king.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Windows.old Folder - Delete in Windows 8
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