How to free up space by removing Windows.old folder

Windows.old folder is usually revealed when you install a new updated copy of Windows OS on current version. Microsoft has developed a useful feature through which your old data usually gets saved in Windows.old folder after a fresh copy of Windows OS is installed on machine. The folder assists the user in case if  the old Windows settings and configurations are required.

One of the major drawback of Windows.old folder along with so many benefits is that it takes a huge space on your machine which can be used for storing other files as well. The usual size of Windows.old folder is 3 GB which does not include your personal files or data that is saved in your profile.

One key thing to note here is that Windows.old folder appears when you install Windows without formatting your hard drive.

Windows have the mechanism to warn its user regarding the lack of space in hard drive. It will be the right time to check out Windows.old folder and delete unnecessary documentation if required. The usual path of Windows.old folder is C:\Windows.old

Getting Rid of Windows.Old folder

One of the simplest way to delete this folder is to wait for 28 days, a setting designed by Microsoft inside Windows, which schedules the task for deleting each and everything, roughly after four weeks. According to Microsoft, once the time limit is over, the user data available in Windows.old folder gets erased as well.


In order to remove the folder ahead of the scheduled time, perform the following procedure.

  • Find out where the Administrative Tools exist on your machine
  • Launch Disk Cleanup
  • System Disk will be the option you must be looking for. Once selected, click Ok
  • After scan is completed, look for the option ‘Previous Windows Installation’
  • After highlighting the option, click Ok to erase those files from your machine permanently
  • The system may ask you twice in order to confirm the deletion of files from Windows.old folder

Retrieval of Files from Windows.Old Folder


  • In order to retrieve files from Windows.Old folder, follow the given steps:
  • You can manually extract files from Windows.Old folder by searching for required data
  • The second option is to use Recover Personal Files tool
  • Once the tool window is opened, be sure to check Apply Repairs Automatically. This way, the files will be restored to the folders where they originated from.
  • The recovery tool can be downloaded from Microsoft website