Q&A Monday: Removing the Windows.old directory

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I was having some issue with my computer, so I went to reinstall the Windows 7 , onto my computer.  After the installation was complete, I noticed I have a C:\windows.old that takes up a large amount on my computer.  I’ve tried highlighting and hitting delete, but it’s not letting me remove it.

Jeanne Cundiff

Benton Harbor, MI


I’ve seen this happen, when people install Windows on a drive without formatting the disk.  Luckily there is a very simple way that you can remove this directory.

  1. Click the Start button. In the search box, type Disk Cleanup and the click Disk Cleanup program.
    Note: If prompted to choose a drive, select the drive you just installed Windows.
  2. In the Disk Cleanup dialog box, on the Disk Cleanup tab, click Clean up system files.
  3. Select the Previous Windows installation check box.
    Note: plus any other check boxes you want to delete, and then click OK.
  4. In the message that appears, click Delete Files.

That should remove the files for you.  Just make sure you really want it gone before going through these steps.

If you have any questions that you want Jim to answer, from business servers to home computers, drop him a line at me@jimguckin.com, and he’ll try to answer your question. Check back every Monday for a new Question and Answer session, and during the rest of the week for his other technical insights.

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