I've recently upgraded to Windows 8.1 from 8 and have noticed a Windows.old folder - this is pretty big (about 10Gb) and could use the space - would I have any issues in the future by simply deleting this folder?


That directory is where Windows 8 was placed. A Windows upgrade operation renames the old Windows directory to Windows.old, so in case something goes wrong, you can rename that one and go back to the way things were. Obviously there might be problems with that, but you would only do that if you had problems with what you upgraded to.

If you are satisfied and ready for deleting the old Windows (not your documents, just the old directory for where Windows files existed), you should be able to safely delete it.

Read up on it at http://www.pcworld.com/article/228884/keep_win_old.html for more details.

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    Although you are close, your answer is not entirely correct. – LPChip Apr 24 '14 at 14:02
  • i'll copy the partition onto another drive and keep it safe and remote it from my primary drive for the time being – Zabs Apr 24 '14 at 14:10
  • @LPChip - The only possible incorrect statement the cliam that if you rename the folder you can "roll" back the system which simply is not the case. – Ramhound Apr 24 '14 at 14:11
  • @Ramhound and he also said: this is the directory where Windows 8 was placed, which is incorrect as well. Then again, I did say: not entirely correct. – LPChip Apr 24 '14 at 15:24

You upgraded from windows XP right? Windows.old has all files that were used by windows XP. Although you can't boot back into windows Xp anymore, the files were kept just in case something could not be upgraded. If everything works as expected, you can delete it. Note that this folder does not just contain the windows files, but also your old profiles. This is for example where your mail was stored.

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    There is no upgrade path from Windows XP to Windows 8.1. If the user upgraded from Window XP there wouldn't be a Windows.old beause the only upgrade path is literally a clean installation which results in everything being removed. – Ramhound Apr 24 '14 at 14:09
  • it was from v8 to 8.1 – Zabs Apr 24 '14 at 14:15
  • @Zabs - Yes. Did you originally upgrade from a previous version of Windows to Windows 8 though? Because this directory shouldn't have been created – Ramhound Apr 24 '14 at 15:49
  • It is a Dell laptop which came bundled with Windows 8 – Zabs Apr 24 '14 at 15:51
  • @Zabs Really? Why did you add the windows-xp tag then? Seems that windows-xp is not at all related then. That bit threw me off. – LPChip Apr 24 '14 at 17:39

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