Remove Windows.old using Command Prompt

Remove Windows.old using Command Prompt: When you install Windows 8 on a computer, if it previously had Windows 7 installed or if you’re going to be performing a custom installation of Windows 8 or going to be using the upgrade installation, once the install is complete you will have a folder called Windows.old folder in your c:\ directory.

This happens when you Repair Install, Upgrade Install or do a Custom Install of Windows XP, Windows VistaWindows 7 or Windows 8 without a format/delete of partition table for a fresh install. 

If you’re performing a custom installation, as long as you don’t format that partition during the installation process of any of the versions of Windows mentioned above, all your data and files from your previous version of Windows are stored in the C:\Windows.old folder. This can be helpful if you want to recover data from that folder, but remember if your wipe/format/delete the partitions table for clean installation of Windows, the folder Windows.old will NOT be kept.

1. We will need to take ownership of Windows.old folder.

  • Go to Start button and type cmd in search and click it to open command prompt


2. Now type takeown /F C:\Windows.old\* /R /A

and then press Enter


3.  Now type in cacls C:\Windows.old\*.* /T /grant administrators:F 

  • or cacls C:\Windows.old\*.* /T /grant Britec:F 
  • where Britec is type user User Name, as long as you’re running as Administrator.
  • Type Y for yes and press Enter
  • You should now be granted full rights to all files and to all folders on that computer.



4. Now type rmdir /S /Q C:\Windows.old\

and press Enter. Now windows.old folder should be deleted for that computer.


That’s it

Retrieving files from the Windows.old folder


Latest Comments

  1. kirankumar.peyyala January 10, 2016
  2. Alex Hodgetts December 14, 2016
  3. Garg June 27, 2017
  4. Cosmin August 9, 2017

Leave a Reply