Windows 10: Deleting Windows.old

Discus and support Deleting Windows.old in Windows 10 Support to solve the problem; I know that's it not important, or necessary, to remove (delete) the Windows.old folder after an update, but it's superfluous to requirement (unless... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Support' started by WightWalker, Dec 31, 2014.

  1. Deleting Windows.old


    I know that's it not important, or necessary, to remove (delete) the Windows.old folder after an update, but it's superfluous to requirement (unless reverting back at some stage).

    As I have a standalone build 9879, I decided to remove Windows.old. Ownership & permissions had to be changed for all locations which was not that easily accomplished but managed after a while but what was a problem was deleting file names that exceeded that maximum length, presumably 260 characters.

    It begs the question: how can the file name be created in the first instance by the very same operating system that prevents it's removal?

    After trying numerous suggestions, I stumbled across Robocopy:
    mkdir empty_dir
    robocopy empty_dir the_dir_to_delete /s /mir
    rmdir empty_dir
    rmdir the_dir_to_delete

    :)
     
    WightWalker, Dec 31, 2014
    #1
  2. qinada Win User

    windows.old delete

    Of course you can if your Windows 10 works well and you are satisfied with it. But still

    backup Windows.old folder
    before deleting it in case that you want to roll backup to previous system.
     
    qinada, Dec 31, 2014
    #2
  3. windows.old delete

    Yes, it can be removed, but please keep in mind, it will be automatically deleted after 10 days. Also note, in case you need to go back to your previous version, its a good reason to keep it.

    That said, here is how you remove it:

    Launch Disk Cleanup, the quickest way is this:

    Press Windows key + R then type: cleanmgr.exe

    Deleting Windows.old [​IMG]

    Then hit Enter

    Windows 10 > Start > All Apps > Windows Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup

    Deleting Windows.old [​IMG]

    Once Disk cleanup opens, select the drive where Windows is installed if its not already.

    Windows will scan your hard disk for files it can clean up.

    Deleting Windows.old [​IMG]

    Note some of these files too can include older installations of Windows. For example, if you upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10 a copy will be kept at the root of the hard disk in a folder calledWindows.old. Please becareful though, this
    folder can actually be useful if you need to go back to your previous version of Windows for whatever reason. So be mindful before deleting it. Removing it though can significantly free up disk space.

    Deleting Windows.old [​IMG]

    After Disk Cleanup is finished scanning, you will see the Disk Cleanup window. This window provides a list of areas of the system you can clean up safely. Before we start cleaning up the system, you will notice appears on the window called Clean up
    system files. Clean it and the Disk Cleanup will run a thorough check of the system again to include every file that can be removed.

    As I noted earlier, the Windows.old folder is basically a backup of your old installation of Windows, which you can use to reinstall Windows if you decide to return to your previous installation. Also, its used as a last resort in case you didn’t backup
    your files and need to recover personal files and settings. The Windows.old folder can use up a considerable amount of your hard disk space. Its normally stored at the root of your hard disk where Windows 7 is installed. Before you delete it, make sure you
    check through the directories and ensure that everything migrated successfully to your current version of Windows.

    Recover personal files from the Windows.old Folder such as Documents Pictures and Windows Live Mail Emails in Windows 10

    Deleting Windows.old [​IMG]

    Once you have determined what to remove, click OK then click the Delete Files button to begin.

    Deleting Windows.old [​IMG]

    Click Yes if you are ok with the action that will be taken.
     
    Andre Da Costa, Dec 31, 2014
    #3
  4. Deleting Windows.old

    If you ever have to do it again disk cleanup is the easiest way to go.
     
    cyberrufus, Dec 31, 2014
    #4
  5. Dito.
     
    toppergraph, Dec 31, 2014
    #5
  6. Dito. Still doesn't answer the question: how can the file name be created in the first instance by the very same operating system that prevents it's removal?
     
    WightWalker, Dec 31, 2014
    #6
  7. Brink
    Brink New Member
    Brink, Dec 31, 2014
    #7
  8. Deleting Windows.old

    Dito. Still doesn't answer the question: how can the file name be created in the first instance by the very same operating system that prevents it's removal? I am not compleatly sure of what the problem is, if you have WIN 10 installed ONLY(I presume new install not upgrade on a stand alone pc) Why do you have windows.old anyway?. Do you mean after preview build installations(not normal updates)?.
     
    toppergraph, Dec 31, 2014
    #8
  9. BunnyJ New Member
    Dito. Still doesn't answer the question: how can the file name be created in the first instance by the very same operating system that prevents it's removal? I am not compleatly sure of what the problem is, if you have WIN 10 installed ONLY(I presume new install not upgrade on a stand alone pc) Why do you have windows.old anyway?. Do you mean after preview build installations(not normal updates)?. Post #5 is the answer to the question.
    It's a system folder and you need to use the disk cleanup to remove it from you system.
     
    BunnyJ, Dec 31, 2014
    #9
  10. It was originally a clean build 9879 with subsequent routine updates; can only assume that one of these created the .old folder.

    I didn't have a problem removing the bulk of Windows.old by taking ownership & managing the permissions accordingly; being a Windows 7 user, I hadn't realised the existence of Disk Cleanup.

    I simply thought it curious that 4 files remained that had file names with a length greater than that supported by the OS which must have created the files in the first instance.
     
    WightWalker, Dec 31, 2014
    #10
  11. I didn't have a problem removing the bulk of Windows.old by taking ownership & managing the permissions accordingly; being a Windows 7 user, I hadn't realised the existence of Disk Cleanup.

    I simply thought it curious that 4 files remained that had file names with a length greater than that supported by the OS which must have created the files in the first instance. No body Knows All to the mystrey`s of any O/S unless you Wright your own. But disk cleanup has been with windows scince I can rember. Where your win.old came from ;I don`t Know. but your now sorted Thanks to #5 .
     
    toppergraph, Dec 31, 2014
    #11
  12. Mystere Win User
    First, the obligatory Beg The Question // Get it right.

    Now that I've annoyed everyone with my pedantics, the answer to the question you "raised" is that there is a difference between the allowed character length in the filesystem, versus the allowed length in the interface you use to access the file (ie command line or GUI). The Filesystem (obviously) allows longer characters, but the command line does not. That is because the command line must work with many kinds of filesystems, some of which do not allow such long names, and because the OS is based on (in effect) DOS from many years ago and there are still certain holdovers. In particular, many of the command line utilities have file length limitations that are far below what the filesystem can handle.
     
    Mystere, Jan 1, 2015
    #12
  13. usasma Win User

    Deleting Windows.old

    Nice work Mystere!

    I've got a theory about this (I see it a lot at work).
    At work, the errors come on individual files during a copy operation.
    I do not see any errors during an installation - and don't often go looking to delete the Windows.old folder (we usually only delete it if the system is running short on storage space).
    I'll have a deeper look next time I encounter it.

    I suspect that there's several possible issues here:
    1) that the filename length thing is/isn't being tripped during the temporary copy operations (where Windows uses the free space on the drive before it actually copies it to the new location).
    2) that the addition of the Windows.old folder makes the length go over the limit
    3) If, at some point, the operation becomes a rename (rather than a copy) operation), then I'd have to suspect that the rename operation doesn't take the length of sub-file name lengths into consideration.
    4) That the routine that makes the Windows.old folder is fault/error-tolerant and it's forced to copy everything (despite any rules) because this is a critical process during the installation

    As such, I wonder if there are errors listed in the installation log files. It would be good if you could search inside the logs for the filenames that have been seen as being too long.
     
    usasma, Jan 1, 2015
    #13
  14. First, the obligatory Beg The Question // Get it right.

    Now that I've annoyed everyone with my pedantics, ..... Funny sequence of posts.
    toppergraph replies to WightWalker: no one knows all the mystery's ... unless you Wright your own ...
    to wit mystere replies to WightWalker: First, the obligatory Beg The Question // Get it right.
    Now that I've annoyed everyone with my pedantics,....
    Speaking of my own pedanticism and annoying people with the practice:
    M-W.com
    pendatic, adj
    pedanticism, nounpedantry, noun - plural ped·ant·ries
    Now that I've had a wee bit 'o fun - back to the question that was raised *Cool

    C:\windows.old is the way we humans see the filename. But I/O doesn't work in human terms.
    I guess the answer is the last sentence in the quoted paragraph below.
    There are at least two ways that I know of to 'correctly' remove windows.old if it is present
    a) Post# 5 points to Disk Cleanup
    https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/2...dows-10-a.html
    b) The free version of Piriform cCleaner also offers to cleanup the folder

    I prefer to use native Windows features whenever feasible.

    Bill
    .
     
    Slartybart, Apr 4, 2018
    #14
Thema:

Deleting Windows.old

Loading...
  1. Deleting Windows.old - Similar Threads - Deleting old

  2. Donating old spare PC to Charity: Q: Best way to ensure deleted financial files can't be...

    in AntiVirus, Firewalls and System Security
    Donating old spare PC to Charity: Q: Best way to ensure deleted financial files can't be...: After Christmas, I'm thinking of donating an old spare PC to Charity. What's the best way to ensure 'deleted' sensitive financial, health files etc., can't be recovered with a Utility Suspect it's not enough to just Empty the Waste Bin? On Youtube, I saw an ad for a...
  3. Donating old spare PC to Charity: Q: Best way to ensure deleted financial files can't be...

    in Windows 10 Gaming
    Donating old spare PC to Charity: Q: Best way to ensure deleted financial files can't be...: After Christmas, I'm thinking of donating an old spare PC to Charity. What's the best way to ensure 'deleted' sensitive financial, health files etc., can't be recovered with a Utility Suspect it's not enough to just Empty the Waste Bin. On Youtube, I saw an ad for a...
  4. Donating old spare PC to Charity: Q: Best way to ensure deleted financial files can't be...

    in Windows 10 Software and Apps
    Donating old spare PC to Charity: Q: Best way to ensure deleted financial files can't be...: After Christmas, I'm thinking of donating an old spare PC to Charity. What's the best way to ensure 'deleted' sensitive financial, health files etc., can't be recovered with a Utility Suspect it's not enough to just Empty the Waste Bin. On Youtube, I saw an ad for a...
  5. After reinstall windows and deleted the old program files, the program files keep showing...

    in Windows 10 Network and Sharing
    After reinstall windows and deleted the old program files, the program files keep showing...: thid is the error message. But i already deleted the windows.old files, why this is still showing? https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/after-reinstall-windows-and-deleted-the-old/c71f5ee2-3af7-4a22-995f-67d08457214f
  6. permently deleting files on old disk

    in Windows 10 Network and Sharing
    permently deleting files on old disk: I have reformated a drive from my old computer and now wish to overwrite it so the files cannot be recovered.I did tryPC shredder but this requires me to select files or a folder before it will operate and since re-formating these are no longer available on the drive.What...
  7. Trying to Delete my old Microsoft Account

    in User Accounts and Family Safety
    Trying to Delete my old Microsoft Account: So im trying to delete a Old Microsoft Account that i dont use but when i try something at the bottom says turn off Reset protection and it says if i dont it may cause my pc to be come unusable so im really scared and i dont know what reset protection is if i delete it do i...
  8. onedrive transfer to new computer and delete files on old computer

    in Windows 10 Network and Sharing
    onedrive transfer to new computer and delete files on old computer: I got a new computer W10 . I use onedrive on my old computer W10. I know that i can access my onedrive files on the new computer by signing in to onedrive on the new computer. How do I permanently delete all the onedrive files on the old computer without losing them in...
  9. Deleting partitions in windows 10 (from old linux dual boot)

    in Windows 10 Drivers and Hardware
    Deleting partitions in windows 10 (from old linux dual boot): I had a linux dual boot on my laptop with Win10. In changing distros I have made a mess and want to start afresh first with just win10 and sorting out partitions. I'd like advice on what linux or redundant win10 partitions I can safely delete on my Lenovo Yoga 2 pro laptop....
  10. Deleting partitions in windows 10 (from old linux dual boot)

    in Windows 10 Support
    Deleting partitions in windows 10 (from old linux dual boot): I had a linux dual boot on my laptop with Win10. In changing distros I have made a mess and want to start afresh first with just win10 and sorting out partitions. I'd like advice on what linux or redundant win10 partitions I can safely delete on my Lenovo Yoga 2 pro laptop....