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How To Delete Windows.Old Folder That Says Access Denied

When installing Windows on a hard drive where Windows is already installed, and when upgrading to Windows 8, you may end up with a Windows.old folder on the partition you have installed the new version of Windows on. I personally encountered this issue. This is, in essence, the Windows folder from the previous installation, which may be quite large. It's also possible that your computer contains multiple windows.old folders. Windows adds a three-digit number beginning with.000 to the end of each folder's name to make a distinction between them.

The primary issue was that the Windows.old folder was larger than 10 gigabytes, so it made sense to delete the folder and everything in it to free up space.

I suggest that you go back through the folder once more to make sure it doesn't contain any files you might still need before proceeding. This could be any type of file you've saved in the Windows folder structure or fonts you've installed.

Although you could theoretically delete the Windows.old folder right away to free up hard drive space, I would recommend using the built-in Disk Cleanup tool instead. Even though I haven't seen any negative effects on the system after manually deleting the folder in Windows Explorer, I still recommend using the Disk Cleanup tool instead. It is likely that it will also only delete the files on the drive.

Using the cleanup tool, you can avoid encountering access denied issues when attempting to delete the Windows.old folder.

Utilize the Disk Cleanup tool to delete the Windows.old folder. 

  • Press Windows-R to open the run box.
  • Hit return after entering cleanmgr.
  • The Disk Cleanup tool is launched here.
  • Locate the Clean up system files button, click it, and if the UAC prompt appears on the system, accept it.

  • To include all Windows.old folders in the cleanup, select the Previous Windows installation(s) option and select OK.
  • After that, the Disk Cleanup tool will proceed to delete all of the selected files and folders. After the cleanup, the Windows.old folder ought to be gone.
I am aware that the folder can be handled in a different way. You can delete it by booting from a Live CD or by running Windows from the command line. However, if you are able to boot into a newer version of Windows and have access to it, I recommend using the Disk Cleanup tool.

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