How To Remove The Microsoft Windows 7 Backup After Using The Free Windows 10 Upgrade

This blog post is about how to remove the Microsoft Windows 7 backup, after using the free Windows 10 upgrade.

Note: Depending on when you read this blog post, the free Microsoft 10 Upgrade might not still be available. If the upgrade is still available, I hope you find the instructions helpful.


When someone uses / used Microsoft’s generous offer to obtain a free upgrade from 7 or 8 to Windows 10, an old backup of the operating system is left for thirty days in a folder called Windows.old. Microsoft provided the option for a good reason, and restoring to a previous OS via this method is useful.

If you don’t want to wait for the files to automatically be removed, then these instructions should be useful.

Note: This blog post is not about removing an operating system from a dual-boot environment.

Warning: You follow these instructions at your own risk. Please reconsider removing the old installation files early, as you might run into unexpected issues and want to revert back to the previous operating system.

How to remove the old files:

  1. Where it says ‘Ask me anything’ at the bottom of the screen type disk cleanup, and select the application.Disk Cleanup
  2. Then select ‘Clean up system files’ at the bottom of the window.Clean up system files
  3. Select ‘Previous Windows Installation(s)’, and make any other selections you require, and remove any selections you don’t require.Previous Windows Installation(s)
  4. Press ‘OK.
  5. If you wish to continue, select ‘Delete Files’, else selection ‘Cancel’.Are you sure
  6. Again if you are sure you wish to delete your previous Windows installation, select ‘Yes’, else select ‘No’.If you clean up

It will now delete the files, which should only takes a few minutes, but likely less depending on your computer specifications.

Cleaning up


After the files were removed, the hard drive on the computer I used showed 59.5GB free of 73.9GB, which given the additional software about to be installed, the extra space will likely be useful. As mentioned earlier, you should reconsider removing the files.

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