Sunday, September 16, 2012

How to remove Windows.old folder from your (C:) drive and why?

For those of you who upgraded to Windows 7 from XP or Vista, you'll find out that a folder called "Windows.old"was created on the C: hard drive.

This "Windows.old" folder contains files that were used in your previous version of Windows and can use a large amount of storage in your hard drive.

Is it important that you keep this folder? after all it contains all kinds of files:  Program Files, Program Files (x86), Users folder, ProgramData, Settings, and the previous Windows program itself.

This "Windows .old" folder as I said above can be very large. In one of my computers where I upgraded from Vista to 7, this folder was 89 GB in size and held   31,376 folders containing 230,325 files. That is a lot even for a 1 TB hard drive.

After you have been using Windows 7 for a while and you are sure that all programs and important files were successfully  transferred from your old version, that your settings are back where they should be, there  is no need to keep such a large folder in your hard drive.

Of course I assume that you have backed up your important files in an external drive or by any other means. If you have not, do it before trying to delete "Windows.old", since it contains all the old files you are still using. Once you delete "Windows.old", it cannot be undone.

Deleting "Windows.old" cannot be done from Windows Explorer.You have to run "Disk Cleanup" as an Administrator. To do this right-click the  "Disk Cleanup" shortcut and then "Run as Administrator" if you are not already signed in as such.

Here are the steps required to delete the "Windows .old" folder:

1-Click the "Start" button; in the "Search Box" type "Disk Cleanup". You will be prompted to    select the drive in which Windows 7 is installed, normally it is drive (C); click OK. A small box opens for a few seconds in order to calculate how much space you will be able to free on drive (C).

2-  In the "Disk Cleanup" dialog box that opens select the box "Previous Windows Installations" and "check mark" it. Uncheck all other boxes that might be  checked such as "Temporary Files", "Recycle Bin" , etc..

3- In the box that appears, (Are you sure to permanently delete these files), click "Delete Files".

That  is all, a new small dialog box opens up and shows you the files being deleted until the action is finished.

I recently installed an SSD drive in my main computer. Because these drives are still rather expensive, I selected and bought a 120 GB unit. In order to install Windows 7 and other programs that I use regularly, I did this by creating a "C: drive Disk Image" . Prior to this of course I deleted the "Windows.old" folder and transferred high volume folders such as Documents, My Pictures, My Music, User Files etc.etc. to my regular hard drive, now changed to as Drive (F:).

The end result is that the OS plus other programs I regularly use run now on an SSD drive and my computer operation is so much faster it is hard to believe.

Drive F: can now be accessed just like any other drive and its programs and files will just run normally, but not as fast as those installed in the SSD drive (C:)

Note: SSD drives are becoming a LOT less expensive then they were a few months ago. 120 GB to 250 GB run between $120.00 to $300.00. I paid a little less than $120.00 for my 120 GB SSD drive.

I hope this post will be of help to most of you. If you have any questions or if you decide to install an SSD drive in your computer and are not brave enough to do at it by yourselves, just post a question or e-mail me. I will then post a more complete description on how to transfer you OS and other program files to you new and very, very fast new SSD drive.

George Freire


Anonymous said...

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George Freire said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks for your nice comments.

As for being a famous blogger, well, I'm still far away from it.

I do this blog because I enjoy helping computer users with their problems, (including myself).

I use what I know to help them and if I don't know the solutions, then I investigate and investigate until I find an answer.

George Freire

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George Freire said...

Thanks for the kind words.

I enjoy doing it and helping people with computer problems the best I can.

George freire

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

that didnt work

George Freire said...

If it didn't work is because you did not follow the instructions correctly. As you can see from all the other comments concerning this post, everybody was very happy with the results.

My advice is: do it again and follow the instructions carefully.

Good luck,

George Freire

patricianapoleon said...

great sharing! thanks for this post about remove Windows.old folder from (C:) drive.
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amit bhatnagar said...

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