Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Trying to remove Windows 8 user account files

  1. #1


    Portland, OR
    Posts : 68
    Windows 8.1 Pro

    Trying to remove Windows 8 user account files


    So when I was installing Windows 8 Pro (which came as an upgrade from a previous version of Windows) I created an account. Let's call it "DC". During the upgrade Windows used up quite a lot of space for that account: about 25 GB.

    Now when Windows 8 is installed I went into the Control Panel / Users and removed the "DC" account. I also made sure to check the box to remove all of its files.

    But when I go the "C:\Users\DC" folder on the hard drive, I see that the DC files are still there:

    Click image for larger version

    If I do it's properties it shows that it still takes 25 GB of space, that I want to reclaim. (I have a 256 GB SSD, so as you see I can't waste that much space!)

    So I log in as a built-in administrator and try to delete those files (by deleting the "C:\Users\DC" folder in Windows Explorer.) After a quick investigation it turns out that the most of the space is used up by the "Windows.old" file. But no matter what I do, it always results in this window:

    Click image for larger version

    I tried booting in a safe mode and it still gave me the same error.

    Any idea how to remove that "C:\Users\DC" folder?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 1,093
    Windows 8 Pro Windows 8.1 Preview
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Portland, OR
    Posts : 68
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Thanks. I tried that "Disk cleanup" tool and it doesn't find it for some reason. As for booting into the command prompt it doesn't seem to work for me (I have a BitLocker on that drive that needs USB stick to unlock it.)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 1,093
    Windows 8 Pro Windows 8.1 Preview


    Ok, I know nothing about bitlocker so hang in there for some additional help.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10


    Did you try Option 2 in the Tutorial?

    But in step 2 of the tutorial, change
    RD /S /Q %SystemDrive%\windows.old
    to
    RD /S /Q "c:\users\DC\desktop\windows.old"

    I think the Option to use the Cleanup tool may not be working because it's only looking for windows.old in a specific place, and yours is in a different folder.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Portland, OR
    Posts : 68
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    @DavidY: Just tried RD /S /Q "c:\users\DC\desktop\windows.old" from an elevated command prompt as you suggested and got a bunch of errors as such:

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10


    Hmm. Beyond my knowledge I'm afraid. Are there pages and pages of files with that error?

    Looks like someone had similar problems here and there were some suggestions about using "Take Ownership" which might help.
    Windows.old I cant delete it
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    You can also use "Unlocker" to remove that folder, it's at Major Geeks.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Portland, OR
    Posts : 68
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    I think I got it, guys. First, run the following two commands (one after another) as a built-in administrator:

    Code:
    takeown /f "c:\users\DC\desktop\windows.old" /r
    
    
    cacls "c:\users\DC\desktop\windows.old" /T /G administrator:F
    This will reset ownership on that folder to the administrator. (May take some time if folder contains many other files.) After that simply delete it from Windows Explorer. Evidently the issue arises from a messed up ACL on that folder.

    @XweAponX: Unlocker won't help since nothing is locking those files.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    Yes it will, you just tell it to "Delete" them.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Trying to remove Windows 8 user account files
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