Can I delete the Windows old folder? Why can’t I delete my Windows old folder? When you install Windows 11/10/8/7 in the previous Windows installed directory or upgrade Windows to a newer version, the old Windows folder gets renamed Windows.old. In case you want to downgrade your PC, this Windows.old folder is used. If you have recently upgraded Windows operating system and notice Windows.old, you can delete it safely and save a lot of space on your computer.
As said above, the Windows.old directory contains your old Windows installation files and your old Documents, Settings, Programs, etc. The folder usually occupies a lot of space and remains protected by your new operating system. When you try to delete it through traditional ways, Windows will refuse to do.
Once you have decided to continue with the new operating system and want to remove old operating system files and folders to reclaim the space, you need to take ownership of the Windows.old folder. Once you have granted ownership to Windows.old folder, you can eliminate it from your PC.
How to Delete the Windows.old Folder in Windows 11 / 10 / 8 / 7?
Step 1. Download and install the TakeOwnershipPro freeware application.
Step 2. Right-click on the Windows.old folder and select TakeOwnershipPro from the context menu.
Step 3. Now, the TakeOwnershipPro application will open up.
Step 4. Click the “Take Ownership” button, and the program will begin to take ownership of all files and subfolders in the Windows.old folder. Depending on the number of files/folders and the speed of your computer, the program may take one to two minutes.
Once you perform the above steps, ownership is granted to your current user account, and then you can delete the Windows.old folder without any permission issue.