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windows.old folder question

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#1
I notice that when doing a Recovery/Reset this PC/Remove everything operation, Win10 will create a windows.old folder similar to the one it created when doing a win7/8 to win10 upgrade. But the folder created during the upgrade always disappeared after 30 days. Does anyone know if that happens with the windows.old folder created when doing a Recovery/Reset this PC/Remove everything operation? Does it disappear on its own also? Or is a manual removal required?
 
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#2
I never wait till it auto deletes... After let's say a week, if I like the running version of Win, I delete it manually.
 
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#3
I never wait till it auto deletes... After let's say a week, if I like the running version of Win, I delete it manually.
Thanks, but that's not what I'm asking. I do that as well. I want to know if the windows.old folder will auto delete like it does after the upgrade.
 
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#5
No, not that I'm aware of btw I've used the refresh/reset option a fair few times. You'll probably get a definitive answer on MS' forums.
 
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#6
No, not that I'm aware of btw I've used the refresh/reset option a fair few times. You'll probably get a definitive answer on MS' forums.
Thanks. Btw, what's the difference between the Recovery/Reset this PC/Remove everything option and the Fresh Start option?
 

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#7
No it doesnt auto delete, only the oldest system restore updates do after system restore storage pencentile is saturated. Its there so you can revert back to the previous version of windows, or if you parallel install the same version of windows.
 
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#8
It does auto delete - eventually. Next time Windows updates and creates a new Windows.old file, that old Windows.old file will be overwritten. Then in 30 days, it will auto delete.

If you have lots of free disk space, I say just leave it. It is not hurting anything. But if running low on disk space, or you just want to get rid of it, you can delete it manually, use Windows own Disk Cleanup to clean out "Previous Windows installation(s)" files or use CCleaner. But for sure, I would wait at least a week or two to make sure you will not need to roll back to that previous version.
 
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#9
Not from my experience. I had Windows.old and Windows.old (1) last time something was updated...

After updates, I just run Disk Cleanup and clean the mess. When it fails to do so, follow this guide:
https://rejzor.wordpress.com/2016/08/08/delete-windows-old-folder/

Maybe things were shuffled around, but the basics haven't changed...
 
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#10
Not from my experience. I had Windows.old and Windows.old (1) last time something was updated...
:eek: Well, you got me to question myself. So I just checked the 6 W10 systems I have here. I opened a command prompt, changed to the root directory and ran the following command: dir windows.ol* /s to look for all windows.old files in all folders and subfolder.

Only one windows.old file was found on each system so not sure what to say there. I will keep an eye out for others from now on.
 
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#11
OK. Thank you everybody. I guess that settles it.
 
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#12
Yeah. They are safe to delete.
 
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#13
Yeah. They are safe to delete.
It's not that. I've done this several times on my builds before. What I was wondering is if they would eventually dissapear on their own. Or better yet, if there was a way to do a restore and not have W10 create a windows.old folder. I want to prepare the system for resale and not have the windows.old folder left for someone to use.
 
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#14
Yes, they will disappear on there own. Use to be 30 days or when you do a disk clean up, there is a option to remove it properly under clean up, system files
 
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#15
It's not that. I've done this several times on my builds before. What I was wondering is if they would eventually dissapear on their own. Or better yet, if there was a way to do a restore and not have W10 create a windows.old folder. I want to prepare the system for resale and not have the windows.old folder left for someone to use.
Delete it then, if you intend on not going back to a previous version.
 

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#16
...use Windows own Disk Cleanup to clean out "Previous Windows installation(s)" files...
This. Windows won't let you delete it manually and there's no reason to rely on third party software to remove it. Bare in mind that cleanup has to be ran as admin to remove that folder.

It's not that. I've done this several times on my builds before. What I was wondering is if they would eventually dissapear on their own. Or better yet, if there was a way to do a restore and not have W10 create a windows.old folder. I want to prepare the system for resale and not have the windows.old folder left for someone to use.
Just erase and clean install Windows from the Media Creation Tool. Erasing will destroy the data on the drive so there's no chance of recovery and there will be no Windows.old folder because you're installing the most recent version of the operating system.
 
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#17
Does anybody know what the difference is between the "Recovery/Reset this PC/Remove everything " option and the "Fresh Start" option?
 
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#18
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#19
Also be aware if you're trying to cleanup Windows.old folder on vanilla Win10 you won't be able manually even with CMD. I don't know how but access rights are cocked up. You'll have to take ownership and even then there will be problems getting that achieved. After upgrading to 1709 or 1803, Disk Cleaner will do it itself. Heh.
 
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#20
Hmmm, not seen that problem. You should be able to remove windows.old - at least by booting from a flash drive, or a program like MoveOnBoot will let you tag the file then delete it early-on during the next boot cycle, before Windows or any application can set hooks in it.

Or, windows.old "should" automatically get deleted after 30 days.
 
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#21
The question raised my curiosity .... doing a search on *.old ... 64 files and one folder, two of the files were 10 MB ... PITA examminoing all these old files, curious as to why cleaning utilities don't do a better job leaving so many dmp, tmp, old and other useless files.
 
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#22
Why would they delete them? Just because a file has .old, tmp, etc. as its extension, that does not mean it can or should be deleted by a cleanup program. Much depends on where the file is located.

Only windows.old specifically is addressed by CCleaner and that is how it should be.
 
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#24
Why would they delete them? Just because a file has .old, tmp, etc. as its extension, that does not mean it can or should be deleted by a cleanup program. Much depends on where the file is located.
I'm not sure how you delete files, but the way I approach the task is the same way I use ccleaner for registry :

a) A list of **suggested ** files to be considered for deletion is prepared.
b) User reviews the list, make sure they understand what each one is, and make a conscious decision on each individual file. If none found, press the clean button and recover all that HD space.

CCleaner Registry Tool ... finds and displays all registry entries it recommends for deletion. Includes a checkbox which i can uncheck if i don't want that item deleted.



CCleaner Disk Cleaner Tool ... finds and displays all files it recommends for deletion. Unfortunately, no checkbox which I can uncheck if I don't want that item deleted. Would be nice to be able to add file extensions too.




I don't understand the suggestion that a user should not be in a position to decide what they want found by a cleanup tool and subsequently and deleted from their PCs. Several times a year I encounter instances whereby an AV utility pops up a warning about infected files. This has happened 6 times in the last few years and in each instance they were false positives. The usual tip off was that the say 223 day old file in question was not flagged on Tuesday and on Wednesday it is; and has remained unchanged for 223 days. And when checking file file with virustotal.com ... they all came up clean. But I'm still quite happy that it detects this things because I have the ability to act upon it and decide if I want the suspect file cleaned / deleted or if i want it to be left alone.

Windows by default hides system files but I have the ability to decide to see them. CCleaner doesn't automatically delete files .... it gives me a list of files by category but once found, it doesn't let me see individual files or exclude a found file I don't want to delete. Any backup program I have ever used allows me to include / exclude file types. I don't see why a disk cleaner should not provide a feature which let's the user find file types he / she may not wish to save.
 
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#25
CCleaner Disk Cleaner Tool ... finds and displays all files it recommends for deletion. Unfortunately, no checkbox which I can uncheck if I don't want that item deleted. Would be nice to be able to add file extensions too.
Kinda sorta but not really true. When you run CC's cleaner, you are given the option to "Analyze" or "Run Cleaner". If you select Analyze, nothing is deleted. It simply lists what would be deleted if you had selected the Run Cleaner option

From there, can then add items (files and folders) to "Exclude" from cleaning, or items to "Include" in the cleaner as you see fit. I don't use those options but under the Cookies option, I have selected a few dozen cookies I don't want "cleaned". This is one of CCleaner's greatest assets, IMO. So, for example, I have told CCleaner to keep the "techpowerup.com" and "wwuu.techpowerup.com" (double u added in place of w to prevent link creation) cookies. Now whenever I run CCleaner, those cookies are not deleted. This means I do not have to re-enter my username and password for TPU (or other sites I frequent) after every time I run CCleaner.

And note in the "Include" and "Exclude" options menus, you can indeed add file types (extensions).
 
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