If you have upgraded to a new version of Windows 10, you end up with a folder named Windows.old under C:\.

Now comes the next question, is it safe to delete the Windows.old folder?

In this blog post, I explain what the Windows.old folder is and if it’s safe to delete the folder.

What does Windows.old in Windows 10 contain?

This folder contains the contents from the previously installed Operating System. It is used to restore to a previous version of Windows 10.

The Windows.old folder is automatically deleted after ten days if you have not made any changes to it locally or via a Group Policy.

Here you can see the Recovery area in the Settings app in Windows 10:

Recovery settings in Windows 10

Is it safe to delete the Windows.old folder in Windows 10?

If you are sure you do not wish to restore to a previous version of Windows 10, it is safe to remove the Windows.old directory.

The Windows.old folder may take 50+ GB of storage, so it’s advisable to delete it if you want to free up disk space.

The folder contains temporary files that you can use to restore the previous version of Windows 10. If you are not planning to restore your operating system, these are not essential files

How to delete the Windows.old folder

Here is how you delete the Windows.old directory in Windows 10 using the Disk Cleanup Tool:

C: \Properties in Windows Explorer in Windows 10

Select Disk Cleanup.

Disk Cleanup in File Explorer

4. For you to remove the Windows.old folder, you need to click the Clean up system files button. Because this is an elevated task, you might receive a UAC prompt. Press Yes at the prompt.

Disk Cleanup for Windows (C:) - Clean up system files

5. Select Previous Windows installation(s).

Disk Cleanup for Windows (C:) - Previous Windows installation(s)

6. Select Yes at the confirmation prompt.

Disk Cleanup in Windows 10 - Are you sure you want to permanently delete these files?


If you are not planning on rolling back your Windows 10 installation to a previous version, you should safely be able to remove the Windows.old folder.

Have you removed your Windows.old folder? Please leave a comment below!


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