How to Delete Windows.old in Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

Deleting the Windows.old folder in Windows 11 can free up a significant amount of disk space on your computer. This folder contains files from your previous Windows installation, which are no longer necessary once you’re sure everything is working smoothly. By following a few simple steps, you can safely remove this folder and reclaim valuable storage space.

How to Delete Windows.old in Windows 11

Want to get rid of the Windows.old folder in Windows 11? Follow these steps to easily delete it and free up space on your hard drive.

Step 1: Open Disk Cleanup

Open the Disk Cleanup utility by typing "Disk Cleanup" in the search bar and selecting the application from the results.

Disk Cleanup is a built-in Windows tool designed to help you remove unnecessary files. Launching it is the first step towards clearing out the Windows.old folder.

Step 2: Select the Drive

Choose the drive containing the Windows.old folder, typically the C: drive, and click OK.

When you select the drive, Disk Cleanup will analyze it to determine which files can be safely removed. This process might take a few moments.

Step 3: Clean Up System Files

Click on "Clean up system files" at the bottom of the Disk Cleanup window.

This option allows you to delete system-level files, including the Windows.old folder. It performs a more thorough scan of your system.

Step 4: Re-select the Drive

Select the same drive again (usually C:) and click OK.

This step ensures that the Disk Cleanup utility focuses on the correct drive, where the Windows.old folder resides.

Step 5: Check Previous Windows Installation

In the Disk Cleanup options, check the box next to "Previous Windows installation(s)" and click OK.

Selecting this option tells Disk Cleanup to target the Windows.old folder specifically. You’ll see how much space it will free up.

Step 6: Confirm Deletion

Click "Delete Files" when prompted to confirm you want to remove these files.

This final confirmation initiates the deletion process. Depending on your system, it may take a few minutes to complete.

After completing these steps, your Windows.old folder will be removed, freeing up space on your hard drive. You should notice an increase in available disk space.

Tips for Deleting Windows.old in Windows 11

  • Always ensure your current Windows installation is functioning properly before deleting the Windows.old folder.
  • Consider backing up any important files from the Windows.old folder before deletion, just in case.
  • Disk Cleanup can also help you remove other unnecessary files, so explore additional options in the utility.
  • If you can’t delete the Windows.old folder using Disk Cleanup, you may need administrative privileges.
  • Sometimes, restarting your computer after running Disk Cleanup can free up additional space.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I delete the Windows.old folder directly?

Yes, but using Disk Cleanup is safer and ensures all related files are removed correctly.

Will deleting Windows.old affect my current system?

No, deleting Windows.old will not impact your current Windows installation.

How much space does Windows.old typically occupy?

The folder can take up several gigabytes, depending on the size of your previous Windows installation.

Can I recover files after deleting Windows.old?

Once deleted, files in Windows.old are not easily recoverable. Backup important files before deletion.

Is it necessary to delete Windows.old?

No, but it’s recommended to free up disk space if you don’t need the files.


  1. Open Disk Cleanup
  2. Select the Drive
  3. Clean Up System Files
  4. Re-select the Drive
  5. Check Previous Windows Installation
  6. Confirm Deletion


By following these straightforward steps on how to delete Windows.old in Windows 11, you can reclaim valuable disk space and streamline your computer’s storage. The Windows.old folder is useful for reverting back to a previous version of Windows if needed, but once you’re confident in your current installation, it’s safe to delete. Using the Disk Cleanup utility ensures that the process is easy and effective. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie, these steps are designed to make the task simple and hassle-free. Deleting the Windows.old folder not only gives you more space but also helps in keeping your system clean and efficient. So, go ahead and free up that space!

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