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


When you upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 10 or another version, the setup makes a copy of the previous installation as part of the process in case something wrong happens during the installation, and the system needs to roll back to the original setup, or Windows 11 is having compatibility issues, and you need to revert to a previous version manually.

Even though the safeguard feature provides a way to restore the original changes, the copy of the files will be kept even after the upgrade completes successfully, taking a lot of storage (inside the “Windows.old” folder) that can be an issue for devices with limited capacity.

If you notice that your laptop or desktop computer is running out of space after the upgrade, Windows 11 includes an option to delete the previous files that can reclaim 12GB or more, depending on the previous configuration.

In this risewindows post, we will show you the steps to delete the previous installation files and folders wasting space after upgrading to the new version of the OS.

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

Step 1. First, open the Settings app by pressing 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.

That’s it for the article.

I hope this post will guide you well.

Good luck & keep growing, guys.

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