How to Delete Windows.old folder in Windows 11 [Guide]

If you’ve just upgraded to the newly released Windows 11 Insider Preview build, you might have noticed that your storage drives seem to have taken up some more space. You might have also seen a new folder called Windows.old taking up a bunch of storage space. Now this will eventually raise a lot of questions from those who aren’t well versed with systems. And so here is the guide on how to delete Windows.old folder in Windows 11 and everything you need to know about Windows.old folder.

As a regular person, one would have a lot of questions about it like whether it is safe to delete Windows.old folder? what does the Windows.old folder contain, how did it get created just after updating the system to Windows 11, etc. With this guide about Windows.old folder, all of your doubts will be cleared and questions will be answered so, read on to know everything about the Windows.old folder and how to delete Windows.old.

What is the Windows.old Folder

The Windows.old folder is a backup that has been created by the operating system itself. This backup takes place when you might be installing or upgrading to a newer version of Windows. The operating system does this so that if in case the user decides to roll back to the previous version of OS, they can simply be able to do so. Though one has to keep in mind that the user will have a limited number of days to make use of the rollback option. Once a certain number of days have passed, Windows will automatically delete the folder.

Contents of the Windows.old folder

The Windows.old folder contains program files from the previous Windows installation and other Microsoft program files. The remaining files of the installed programs will automatically be shifted to the system’s main Windows folder. All your files and folders will be shifted to the new system’s user folders.

How to Delete Windows.Old Folder in Windows 11

There could be many reasons why you want to delete the folder. It could be because it might be taking up 10-12 GB of storage space or maybe you just don’t have any use of the folder or you have no intention of restoring your system to the previous versions. The good thing about Windows.old folder is that you can delete it and, there are three ways that you can use to delete Windows.old folder. So, let’s start with the easiest method.

how to delete windows.old folder in windows 11

Manually delete Windows.old folder in Windows 11

You can easily delete the Windows.old folder on Windows 11 without having to do anything complex. Follow these steps to delete Windows.old folder

  1. Open File Explorer on your Windows PC. You can do this by navigating the icon on the desktop or by simply pressing the Windows Key and the letter E key.
  2. Once in File Explorer, locate the drive that has the OS installed to it. Generally, it is the C drive.
  3. Scroll a bit till you find the Windows.old folder.
  4. Select the folder, right-click and click on Delete that is represented by a trash can icon.
    how to delete windows.old folder in windows 11
  5. Or, you could simply select the folder and hit the Delete key on your keyboard. Since it is a big file it will be deleted permanently.
  6. It will now ask if you wish to delete the folder, simply click on yes. At times it may ask for administrator privileges, grant them to delete the folder right away.

And that is one way to delete Windows.old folder on Windows 11. However, there could be times when the folder might not get deleted even after trying to delete it manually. So in if the Windows.old folder is not deleting in your case follow any of the following two methods to get rid of the Windows.old folder.

Use Disk Cleanup to delete Windows.old

  1. Open up the File Explorer on your Windows PC. You can do this by navigating the icon on the desktop or by simply pressing the Windows Key and the letter E key.
  2. Once in File Explorer, locate the drive that has the OS installed to it. Don’t open the drive.
  3. Right-click the drive and select Properties.
  4. Now, on the General tab, you will see the disc cleanup button. Click on it.
    how to delete windows.old folder in windows 11
  5. It will now show you the files that you can choose to delete. Click on Clean up system files.
  6. Scroll through the list of folders that you can choose to delete.
  7. Select Previous installations of Windows and click on OK.
    how to delete windows.old folder in windows 11
  8. Now the Windows.old folder will be deleted by the disk cleanup program.

Use Storage Sense to delete Windows.old folder in Windows 11

With Windows 10, Microsoft brought in a neat storage manager that lets you look at how much storage is being used and what is currently using all of it. It even lets you delete the files regularly provided that you schedule it. And since it’s baked right away into the OS, it works flawlessly and will always erase off the files that you don’t need. To make use of Storage Sense do the following:

  1. Open the Start menu, simply type in Storage Sense and click on Enter.
  2. Under Storage management, you will see the Storage Sense option. 
  3. Toggle the switch to On to enable it and click on Storage Sense.
    how to delete windows.old folder in windows 11
  4. Click on the Run Storage Sense now button.
    how to delete windows.old folder in windows 11
  5. Storage Sense will now start clearing off unwanted files such as thumbnails, error reports, cache files, and even previous installation files and even empty your Recycle Bin.

And there you go. Now you know three different methods to delete the Windows.old folder in Windows 11. Windows 11 is the latest Windows OS with major UI changes, so the controls for tasks can be different than Windows 10. We will be sharing different Windows 11 guides so that you can easily adapt new Windows 11. You can read more about Windows 11 and its Insider Preview by heading here.

You May Also Like – How to Download Windows 11 Insider Preview

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Joshua D'souza

Enjoy games, 90's hip-hop, and tech. Loves exploring the infinite world of laptops and food. Every ready to provide assistance in anything that rocks his boat. Will gladly enjoy capturing memories through various lenses. Worked previously at PiunikaWeb as an author and researcher.

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