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Windows.old Folder - Delete in Windows 8


Brink

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Windows.old Folder - Delete in Windows 8
This tutorial will show you how to delete the Windows.old folder that has been placed in the root directory of the Windows 8 drive when you do a upgrade to or a refresh of Windows 8.
Published by Brink
#1
ByLine
How to Delete "Windows.old" Folder in Windows 8 and 8.1
Synopsis
This tutorial will show you how to delete the Windows.old folder that has been placed in the root directory of the Windows 8 drive when you do a upgrade to or a refresh of Windows 8.
How to Delete "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 an administrator to be able to do the steps in this tutorial.


EXAMPLE: Windows.old Folder


Example.jpg







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.
Step3.jpg
3. Click/tap on the Clean up system files button. (see screenshot below)​
Step4.jpg
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)​
Step5.jpg
7. Click/tap on Delete Files. (see screenshot below)​
Step6.jpg
8. When Disk Cleanup finishes, the C:\Windows.old folder will be deleted.​
Step7.jpg







OPTION TWO
Delete "Windows.old" Folder in 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
CMD.jpg
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.​
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.​
CMD-boot-1.jpg

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.​
CMD-boot-2.jpg

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

6. Verify that the Windows.old folder has been deleted.​
That's it,
Shawn




 
Last edited by a moderator:

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mikedl

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#2
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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Brink

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#3
LOL, you're welcome Mike. You still got there, and that's what counts. :)
 

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Brink

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#5
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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Dave76

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#6
Nice tut, thanks
 

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Brink

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#7
Thank you Dave. :)
 

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vrosa

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#8
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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Brink

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#9
Hello Vladimir,

Sorry to hear that to took the long way around, but you still got there. :)
 

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foxjazz

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#10
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.
 

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Brink

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#11
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.
Hello Foxjazz,

What's so stupid about it?? You could just as easily use one of the other options to delete the specific Windows.old folder that you would like to delete instead. :huh:


Usually if you have a previous installation that already contained a Windows.old folder, you will then have say a Windows.old1 folder for the oldest copy, and a Windows.old for the most recent previous installation.
 
Last edited:

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Avalon

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#12
Thanks for this. I just noticed that a few files were left-over from my previous installation - didn't even see them... but now they are gone! :)
 

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Brink

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#13
You're most welcome Alexis. :)
 

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1foxracing

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#14
Nice write up as always Mr Brink! :D
 

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#15
Thank you Mark. :)
 

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SIW2

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#16
I just did a refresh.

I already had windows.old.

There is not another windows.old anywhere to be seen.
 

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Brink

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#17
Hello Simon,

Thank you. Did you also check to see if it may have been hidden?
 

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    Motherboard
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    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    256GB OCZ Vector,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
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    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
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    Thermaltake Core P3
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    Corsair Hydro H115i
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    Logitech wireless K800
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    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
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    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
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SIW2

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#18
Yes, I always have everything visible - I often forget that not everyone does.
 

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Brink

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23,279
#19
Ok. I just did two refreshes back to back again, and it didn't rename the existing Windows.old folder to Windows.old.000 like it did in W8 DP. Maybe since it was just created. I'll test again when it's a few days old. I updated the tutorial to say "may" instead for refresh though.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    256GB OCZ Vector,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone