It seems to be a common thing that a Windows Update creates a Windows.old folder under C:\Windows.old My question is now, can it be deleted with Windows 8 and how can I do that?

If I try to manually delete it in Windows Explorer it does not let me, a permissions issue.

enter image description here

  • No @Moab, you can't simply use Explorer's Delete command to delete the directory because the ownership and file security rights block deletion without taking ownership and changing permissions on all the files. It is doable, but not intuitive for the average Windows user.
    – Mufasa
    Oct 29, 2012 at 17:07
  • @Mufasa Thanks, forgot, been too long since I did that.
    – Moab
    Oct 29, 2012 at 17:12

1 Answer 1


The Windows.old folder is a backup of the previous installed windows. It can be removed after some weeks when you think that all configurations are migrated correctly to Windows 8. See Microsoft statement

The folder can be removed with the Disk Cleanup (cleanmgr.exe) program, that can be found by typing "Disk Cleanup" in the Modern UI.

enter image description here

Choose Clean up System Files. Then check the Previous Windows installation(s), click OK and confirm with "Delete Files". Then the folder should be removed.

enter image description here

  • actually does that file has any uses? I mean how do I, for example, restore to the old file?
    – user4951
    Dec 8, 2012 at 15:56

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.