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Have just installed the pro version, having used the free version for several years. You can therefore consider that I am a newbie. One of my first actions was to explore how to handle duplicate files and note that the recommendation is to delete only "homegrown" files.

It appears that I have literally thousands of files named Windows.old\ that are individually small but add up into the gigabyte range (see attachment). There may be 2 to over 100 similar files in any one directory (24 and two, in the attachment).

My instinct is to delete everything with C:\Windows.old\WINDOWS\… But I do not have a clue as to whether this would be safe or not. And should I leave the last version which is not checked in the attached list?

Can some kind person shed some light on this matter, please?

 

2020-06-26_103811.jpg.6979735d938be9e5015d27c227e7f81c.jpg

Edited by devil
Correction
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Windows.old, and Windows SXS (Side by Side), files should not be deleted by yourself.

Deleteing them yourself may break your computer and stop it working.

They are files from the previous Windows installation following an update, and may still be needed by your current Windows version. (Side by Side files especially).

If you are sure that you are not going to want to roll back your Windows version then you can safely remove any unwanted Windows.old or SXS files using the built in Disk Clean-up or Windows Storage Sense.

This article shows both methods (Your Storage Sense may look slightly different to this depending on your Windows 10 version, but Disk Clean-up will be the same):
https://www.windowscentral.com/how-properly-remove-windowsold-folder-windows-10

Either method will take quite a long time to remove the files if there are a lot of them.
(I'm talking between 15 mins to a couple of hours depending on just how many there are, and the speed of your computer/disc).

 

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Not quite, they keep changing it.

It was 30 days, then 7 days, then back to 30 days, then .........

At the moment it seems to be 30 days - unless MS don't want to, or something went wrong removing them.
Windows.old from an upgrade from Win 7 or Win 8.1 can also get missed by the automatic removal for some reason.

One of the first things I do if I see anything Windows.old on a computer is run Disk Clean-up to get rid for certain.

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Okay, guys,

Thank you all for your input, which has been most helpful. I have eliminated about 90% of the space taken by Windows.old, a relic from version 7, for the most part. At the same time it has also eliminated a handful of other files, some of which were of totally unknown origin – again, a relic! For the record, I used the Disk Cleanup method. This went quite well, while I was out of the house for four hours. I will do a de-frag the next time I have to be out of the house for any length of time.

I am impressed at receiving the answer to my problem in less than 24 hours and that the answer worked first time! I am a happy bunny as well as being a happy devil! Thanks again.

Devil

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- When the content of that "Windows.old" is a relic of Windows 7 on your otherwise well functioning Windows 10 system then I wouldn't  hesitate. Just delete the entire content of "C:\Windows.old" folder.

Edited by Willy2
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15 hours ago, nukecad said:

Not quite, they keep changing it.

It was 30 days, then 7 days, then back to 30 days, then .........

 

 

They keep changing and breaking many things. I was only going by what the last two major Win10 updates stated in Disk Cleanup in that Windows itself would automatically remove them on its own accord and both times it did. Didn't think once about an upgrade from a previous version of Windows such as Win7 or Win8.1 (not necessarily an earlier Win10) which would make perfect sense for it to be more relaxed with a 30 day period.

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