Screenshot of what I am talking about -

The files

I have some strange files in the $Windows.~WS folder that are TMP files. The files automatically start downloading whenever I start BITS (Background Intelligent Transfer Service). All three files are of the same size and the total size of this folder is around 9 GB(and it took 9 GBs of my LIMITED internet to download them. They consume a lot of internet whenever they download, so can I delete these files? I am on a limited internet connection. However, I want to download Windows 10 and if these files are related to Windows 10 then I won't delete them. Please give me advice on what should I do, I really want to download Windows 10 and saving internet for that!

  • Leave them until your upgrade is complete. They are part of the upgrade process. – DavidPostill Oct 21 '15 at 22:15

WARNING: If you are upgrading to Windows 10 and THAT IS NOT COMPLETE, then leave these files alone until that finishes as these are needed for that process to finish 100%. Once that process is fully complete, you can follow the below instructions to clean these up afterwards only.


If you recently upgraded to Windows 10 (and that is FULLY COMPLETE), these are likely related to that. Run Disk Cleanup to start with but run it as administrator (right-click run as administator), and select the Previous Windows Installation option.

Look here for Disk Cleanup instructions on Windows 10:


Here's another article (below link) that shows a command line cleanup syntax to run.

You'd open your command prompt and run as administrator, and then run these commands (paste and then press Enter).

takeown /F C:\$Windows.~BT\* /R /A 
icacls C:\$Windows.~BT\*.* /T /grant administrators:F 
rmdir /S /Q C:\$Windows.~BT\


takeown /F C:\$Windows.~WS\* /R /A 
icacls C:\$Windows.~WS\*.* /T /grant administrators:F 
rmdir /S /Q C:\$Windows.~WS\

Source: http://www.thewindowsclub.com/delete-windows-bt-ws-folders-windows-10

  • "However, I want to download Windows 10 and if these files are related to Windows 10 then I won't delete them" - he hasn't upgraded yet so it's not a good idea for him to delete them. – DavidPostill Oct 21 '15 at 22:14
  • Perfect.......;) – DavidPostill Oct 21 '15 at 22:32
  • This is not enough to be able to delete the C:\$Windows.~BT\NewOS\" subfolders. Do you happen to know extra tricks or tools that figure out how to delete these? They appeared on my Windows Insider install, during a botched build upgrade. For the moment I've just moved the folder so Windows Update is happy again. – Henk Poley Oct 10 '16 at 19:11

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