When I try to delete the Windows.old folder, I get this error:

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These are the folder permissions when I click Advanced:

enter image description here

Everyone in the "Group or user names" section has full control checked.

  • Why not just take ownership of it? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Nov 30 '13 at 3:22
  • I already have. By default I'm in the Everyone group. – Jon Nov 30 '13 at 3:30
  • I meant take ownership of it to your personal administrator account. :) – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Nov 30 '13 at 3:33
  • Tried that. Still happened. – Jon Nov 30 '13 at 3:35
  • Ok, before we go any further, what else have you tried? CHKDSKs? Safe Mode? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Nov 30 '13 at 3:36

I've seen this a few times and the common answer is one of the following:

  • Use Windows Disk Cleanup MS Source [Yes, this is for W7, but still applies]

    1. Click Start
    2. Type "Disk Cleanup"
    3. Click "Clean up system files"
    4. Select "Previous Windows Installation(s)"
    5. Click "OK"
    6. Confirm with "Delete Files"
  • Boot a Linux Live CD and delete it that way.

Just make sure to double check that you don't need anything in there!

  • Deleted through Ubuntu and it all worked out. – Jon Nov 30 '13 at 3:50
  • @chipperyman573 - Glad to hear it, I would've defaulted to that myself. – nerdwaller Nov 30 '13 at 3:51

Search for "Disk Cleanup", one of the matches will be "Free up disk space by deleting unnecessary files".

It will open the Disk Cleanup utility.

Pick the drive you want to clean (probably C:):

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Click "Cleanup System Files", and the Disk Cleanup will reset (in Administrator mode).

Scroll down the list and ensure "Previous Windows installations" is selected, and then run the cleanup.

Note: I don't have it in my screen shot, I believe because I did a non-destructive upgrade (I had/have no Windows.old), but you get the idea. ;)

enter image description here


Click the "effective access" tab of the same window that you posted the screenshot of. It will tell you what a specific user has permissions to do.

You could also a create a live installation of a Linux system, load it, and then delete it from there.

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