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How to delete folder Windows Old

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Published on Feb 28, 2018

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If you have updated your version of Windows or did you re-installed via usb stick, DVD or the recovery partition default you may have noticed that, in the hard disk, you will be created a folder named Windows.old that, in the majority of cases, is large, several GB. But what is it, what is it and how do you cancel?

Windows.old is a folder that Windows creates automatically when you update your PC from a macro-version to another (from Windows 7 to 8 or from 8 to 10) or when you restore. Usually in this folder are system files, but only files and data that are related to some previously installed programs, and in particular of those concerning the upgrade of the operating system, a procedure that tends to increase in a manner also quite decided on the folder, bringing it to a weight that can vary between 2 and 10 GB.

The utility of Windows.old is to recover some files, the system considers potentially important, which are almost always not necessary. For this reason, especially in case you have one of those computers with media eMMC, in most cases, can be deleted without any rancour.

In addition to its “utility,” however, the folder Windows.Old is also famous for one other factor, the difficulty often is encountered when you try to delete it.
The first method, the most obvious one, is to go to “C:” and try to delete the folder by clicking on it with the right button and pressing “delete“, a procedure as simple as it is, very often, unnecessary.

Windows, unlike Linux and Mac, has a system of granting permissions to a very different and, in fact, it may happen that the system blocks the procedure as we do not have the necessary permissions. For this reason it is often ineffective.

In the latest versions of Windows 10, the system, when they notice the existence of the folder, it shows a notification to the user allowing them to initiate a cancellation procedure to the default. The procedure is accessible either via notification from the Control Panel (or directly from the Start). Like, looking for “disk Cleanup”, we find a tool native to Windows, that will delete unnecessary files, temporary files, and, among these, also those of Windows.old.

In the first screen Disk Cleanup allows us to delete files surface but it is not here that we must focus our attention rather on “Clean up system files“. By clicking on the button, in fact, the software looks for residual files of useless system including the files of the Windows automatic updates and, of course, the files in Windows.old.
The search of these files will be a bit longer but will be much more precise and, above all, “substantial“.

As explained by Microsoft in its guidelines, the file that refer to the folder "Old", " over residual files update, are Temporary Files that should be deleted, especially if they are on the order of gigabytes (disposable also from Settings > System > Storage > This PC > Temporary Files). By selecting the relevant entries and clicking the OK button, the utility system will work and erase all the unnecessary files.

At the end we will have freed a lot of memory of the hard disk, you can use it for other purposes.

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