HomeHow toHow to Remove Previous Windows Installation Files and Folders from Windows 11?

How to Remove Previous Windows Installation Files and Folders from Windows 11?

How to Safely Remove Old Windows Installation Files from Windows 11.

When upgrading to a new version of an operating system, ensuring a smooth transition without data loss is crucial. When you upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 10 or another version, Windows takes an extra precautionary step. As a part of the upgrade process, it creates a backup of your previous installation. This ensures that in the event of an unexpected issue during the installation process or if Windows 11 encounters compatibility issues, the system can effortlessly roll back to the initial setup. While this safeguard mechanism is incredibly beneficial, providing a safety net for users, there’s a downside. Even if the upgrade to Windows 11 goes off without a hitch, the backup files remain on your system, housed in the “Windows.old” folder. These residual files can consume a significant amount of storage space, which can be especially problematic for devices with limited storage capacity. If you’ve recently transitioned to Windows 11 and are wondering why your storage space has suddenly shrunk, these backup files might be the culprits. The good news? Windows 11 comes equipped with a built-in option to delete these redundant files, potentially freeing up 12GB or more of storage, based on your previous system’s configuration. In this risewindows guide, we’re going to walk you through the steps to safely remove these old installation files and folders, ensuring you make the most out of your device’s storage post-upgrade.

How to Delete Previous Windows Installation Files and Folders from Windows 11?

Follow these steps to remove Previous Windows Installation Files and Folders from Windows 11:-

Step 1. First, open the Settings app by pressing the Windows + I keys on the keyboard.


Step 2. Now, select the System category from the left side pane.

Step 3. Then, click on the Storage option.


Step 4. After that, on the Storage settings pane, scroll down to find the “Cleanup recommendations” option under the “Storage management” section.

Step 5. Next, check the checkbox “Previous Windows installation(s).”

Step 6. Now, click the Continue button when you see the “Clean up selection” pop-up window.

Windows 11 will now erase the previous operating system (Windows 10) backup folder from your system to free up the storage. After that, this option will disappear from the “Cleanup recommendations” settings. Even under the Windows installation drive, you will not see the “Windows.old” folder.


Upgrading your operating system, especially to a new version like Windows 11, requires a delicate balance of ensuring data safety while maximizing storage efficiency. Windows provides a safety net with its backup feature, which retains files from the previous installation in the “Windows.old” folder. Although essential for possible rollback scenarios, these files can consume a significant amount of disk space. Thankfully, Windows 11 allows users to seamlessly and safely delete these files when they are no longer needed. By following the steps provided in this guide, you can reclaim valuable storage space on your device, ensuring a cleaner and more efficient system post-upgrade.


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