Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Windows.old after refresh

  1. #1


    Posts : 20
    windows 8

    Windows.old after refresh


    I did a system refresh and I noticed a 'windows.old' folder that contained all my programs.

    Is it safe to copy it back to my programs directory or should I reinstall these programs and delete windows.old?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 328
    Windows 8.1 (x64)


    Do NOT copy it directly to your programs folder, it will either not work or mess up your system, reinstall all your applications the normal way. You can safely delete it if your new OS is working fine.

    Additonnal info :
    How do I remove the Windows.old folder?
    Windows.old Folder - Delete in Windows 8
    Must I Keep Windows.old? | PCWorld
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 20
    windows 8


    Just what I needed to know.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    If you have permissions problems to delete the .old folder you can use "Disk CleanUp" ...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Hi there

    One GOOD use for that Windows.old file is when you have a missing driver in Windows 8.1 -- you can sometimes get the W8 one to work by simply when using Device manager to re-install a driver by scanning the Windows.old directory (point the scan / search to the windows.old directory) and with a bit of luck it will work.

    I had a couple of Touch drivers missing on my W8.1 installation as well as the DECENT Beats audio driver/mixer -- using the windows.old file fixed the problem. After you've installed everything you need you can simply DELETE the windows.old file.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


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


    SOMETIMES - You Can pull settings out of the Windows Old folder for some programs, like if there is a file in there that contains a configuration, you can save that out, re-install the program, then drag the config file back in and it should then have the same preferences you had set up. But this only works, if you keep the same Computer Name, User name, network name, etc.

    Usually, when a Program is installed, it not only installs to Program Files, but it also sends data to \Users\(User Name)\Appdata and sometimes to \User\All Users\Appdata and each appdata folder has three levels, Local, Locallow, and Remote. I don't know MS's logic in creating those extra folders, XP only had the one folder and it was easy to replace things. Any user who is sufficiently familiar with his system, will know pretty much which Programs put what folders and files where- I do, but it is years of use and looking and remembering.

    I have re-installed Programs from The Old folder, but with only a 50% success rate for making them work again, it required moving stuff back to Appdata as well as Program files. Sometimes, they create folders and files in the Windows folder.

    Usually the OLD folder exists so that you can retain all of your saved documents and images and music, if you used the conventional storage places for them - God forbid, I DON'T use standard storage areas. But most people do, so that's where all your stuff is.

    As far as programs, get all your install disks lined up and ready for mass re-install- Including any program installers saved on your System which should be in "Downloads" in your "Old" folder. I'm a ratp[acker, I save every installer package for ccleaner, flash, java, etc, plus all my IPA and APK installers for iOS and Droid.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 328
    Windows 8.1 (x64)


    Quote Originally Posted by XweAponX View Post
    Usually, when a Program is installed, it not only installs to Program Files, but it also sends data to \Users\(User Name)\Appdata and sometimes to \User\All Users\Appdata and each appdata folder has three levels, Local, Locallow, and Remote. I don't know MS's logic in creating those extra folders, XP only had the one folder and it was easy to replace things.
    Local is the old local settings\application data from XP. Roaming "follows" you when in a domain (so if you log in as Joe on PC1, log off then go to PC2, files from PC1 roaming will be copied to PC2). Local Low is used by programs at Low Integrity. This is a new NTFS permission, which restricts programs a lot : a low integrity application like all metro apps or IE in enhance protected mode can only read most folders, and can write only to a few locations, mainly Local Low. You can even define your own programs as low integrity with icacls (works with firefox ).

    Back to the OP, it's really not recommended to just move those programs and expect them to work. Because they not only have various data out of the programs folders (most settings for example are stored in users nowadays) but they also modifiy the registry. It might work when those applications are fairly self contained, basically they are what's called portable, but most of the time it's useless.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


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


    Ah that explains why most of my apps get shoved into Local and Roaming. Hardly anything gets put into Locallow.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 20
    windows 8


    Thanks guys for all the help!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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