How to delete Windows.old folder in Windows 11?

After upgrading to Windows 11 or after an installation without formatting the HDD or SSD system partition, you may find the Windows.old folder on drive C. It can occupy several gigabytes. If you want you can delete it, but it is better not to do this in the explorer. Let`s consider two ways how to delete Windows.old folder correctly.

Before proceeding to the deleting process, a few nuances regarding the Windows.old folder:

1. The Windows.old folder contains files from a previous Windows installation. If you did Windows installation without formatting, it may contain your data from the desktop and user folders, you can find them in the "Users" subfolder.

2. If this folder appears after upgrading to Windows 11, keep in mind that once you delete it, you won't be able to undo the upgrade.

How to delete Windows.old folder in Windows 11?

Windows 11 provides two ways to safely delete the Windows.old folder.

1. Using "Settings" interface:

- Go to Settings -> "System" section, click on the "Storage" item.

Windows.old deleting

- After the used disk space analyzing, click "Temporary files".

- When the scanning of the contents of temporary files is completed, the item "Previous Windows installations" will appear in the list. Check it. 

- Click "Delete Files" button and wait for the deletion process to complete. This will remove the folder from drive C. If you find that the folder remains, a simple delete in Explorer should work.

2. Windows.old deleting using Disk Cleanup utility (you will need administrator rights):

- Right-click on the drive C in "This PC" page. Click Properties.

- Click "Clean disk" and then "Clean up system files".

- Check the "Previous Windows installations" box and click the "OK" button. As a result, the Windows.old folder will be deleted. In rare cases, it remains on the disk (but smaller). In this case try to delete folder as usual in the Explorer.

If these ways don`t work, there is a good free soft for deleting files and folders with problems. Download and install "Unlocker" program. It will be added to a context menu. Choose it if you can`t handle with files deleting because of some errors.  

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