How to Recover Files from Windows.old Folder
Many people have upgraded their Windows operating system to Windows 10 during Microsoft’s rather aggressive “free upgrade” campaign. If you upgraded your Windows version, you probably have noticed the Windows.old folder, which is taking up a considerable amount of space. What is this Windows.old folder? Will it be okay to delete it?
What is Windows.old
Windows.old is not something new that comes with the Windows 10 upgrade. Starting with Vista, when you “upgrade install” (upgrade from one version of Windows to another with a new copy of Windows), a window.old folder will be created. The Windows.old folder contains all the files and data from your previous Windows installation, like Windows system files, installed program settings and different user accounts files. It is a backup file in case you want to revert to the old version, or you find something missing and you want to do some digging around.
We don’t recommend you to delete the Windows.old right after the upgrade because you never know if the new system is working out for you. Besides, it takes time for your to realize what’s missing or not. And don’t worry about the space it takes, after one month of problem-free running, the Windows OS will automatically delete the folder.
But if you do want to manually delete Windows.old, you might find that it cannot be deleted the usual way. Try to delete the Windows.old folder from File Explorer like you would any other folder and you’ll receive an error message. You will need the built-in Windows Disk Cleanup tool to do it. On Windows 10, right-click the C:\ drive in File Explorer, select Properties, and click the Disk Cleanup button under General tab. Next, you will see the list of options that can be cleaned. Check Previous Windows installation(s) along with other undesired files and hit OK. Disk Cleanup utility will then remove these files and free up the space they were taking up.
You can go ahead and delete the Windows.old without any problem as long as you don’t want to downgrade and you have every important file you need from the old version. Windows will automatically remove the Windows.old folder a month after you upgrade and free up space anyway. So be sure to check if your personal files are copied to the new version before the Windows.old is deleted.
How to Recover files from Windows.old
If you need to recover missing individual files or savegames from your old Windows installation, you can recover them from the Windows.old folder. It will be just as easy as you would access any other folders by opening the File Explorer window, accessing the Windows.old folder at C:\Windows.old, and browsing your file system. You can either copy these files or send to other directories.
How to Recover Deleted Windows.old and other Lost Data
If you realize some of your personal files are missing but the Windows.old is already deleted, how to recover these files? Your files can be missing due to the upgrade, accidental deletion, disk formatting, virus attack, partition loss, etc. In these cases, you can always try to recover with a professional data recovery software. Here you can try H Data Recovery Software. It is a popular and powerful data recovery software that can handle various kinds of data loss situations. If you suspect the upgrade has deleted some of your personal files but the Windows.old is removed already, you can also run a Universal Recovery, which is a powerful feature that H Data Recovery offers, to perform a thorough scan of all the deleted files. H Data Recovery Software is powerful yet easy to use. You can select different recovery modules to recover data from formatted hard drives, USB flash drives, SD cards, crashed partitions… all with just a few clicks.