This post mainly aims at telling you how to recover data from Windows.old folder. Besides, it will show you what the Windows.old folder is exactly. Moreover, the location of Windows.old folder and how to show this folder if it is hidden will also be introduced at the end of this post.

A large number of Windows users will find there’s a folder called “Windows.old” in the system partition. To free up space, some of them would consider deleting this folder. But what does Windows.old folder contain exactly? How to recover data from Windows.old folder after you have deleted it by mistake?

In the following content, these aspects will be discussed:

  • How to recover data from the Winodws.old folder
  • Why people want to restore the deleted Windows.old folder
  • The location of Windows.old folder
  • How to show hidden Windows.old folder

How Can You Recover Data from Windows.old Folder

It would be pretty easy to recover files after reinstalling Windows or recover files after Windows update if Windows.old folder does exist on the computer. But, what if this folder has been deleted mistakenly or lost suddenly? Please don’t worry too much since you still have a chance to restore your files from the Windows.old folder.

Windows.old folder deleted/lost

Windows.old Folder Was Missing: 2 Real Cases

Case 1: Windows.old is deleted automatically.

I upgraded to Windows 10 and after one day all the data from windows old folder got deleted automatically. For windows 8.1 the data was not deleted before 28 days as I remember reading somewhere. Now that it has been lost is there a way to recover it?

Case 2: Windows.old is deleted by mistake.

Basically, I used Disk Cleanup utility on a Windows 7 Ultimate machine to delete the Windows.old folder only to discover that it contained a critical amount of data in the 'users/JonDoe/' which was referenced to from the upgrade by a simple shortcut on the desktop. How can I recover the Windows.old folder in Windows 7 ultimate after it has been deleted? I know that there are thousands of 'undelete' programs out there, but which one is free, no limitations in trial and highly recommended? Does Microsoft have a utility to undo? I’ve looked but can't seem to find anything, please help.

3 Steps to Restore Windows.old on Windows 10

In this part, I’ll mainly focus on how to restore programs from Windows.old on Windows 10 in this part.

The first step: select an appropriate option.

After downloading and installing MiniTool data recovery software, you need to launch it to start the recovery. So, you’ll see the following main interface, which includes 4 options in the left-hand panel. Now, you need to decide which is most suitable for your Windows.old program files missing case.

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select a suitable option

For all I know, you should select “This PC” and choose certain drive to recover missing Windows.old files. Besides, “Hard Disk Drive” can also be selected if you’d like to perform a full scan on the entire disk (this helps to recover more files).

FYI: Do you want to know more details on how to recover deleted files in Windows 10?

How To Easily Recover Deleted/Lost Files On PC In Seconds - Guide
How To Easily Recover Deleted/Lost Files On PC In Seconds - Guide

Don’t know how to retrieve deleted files on PC? The following content will show you how to get them back from devices in different situations.

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The second step: scan the target drive.

After clicking on the certain option in the previous step, you’ll need to select the target drive which contains the Windows.old folder from the right-hand panel. Then, click on the “Scan” button to detect missing files. At this time, you ought to select drive C: to scan since the Windows.old folder is saved here by default.

select the target drive

Please highlight the C: drive from the list and then click on the “Scan” button in the lower right corner of the software interface. Then, wait for the full scan patiently (there’re often a lot of files in the system partition).

The third step: pick out needed files & folder.

During the scan, the software will load the scan results for you automatically. You can browse the results now or wait for the completion of the full scan and then take a look at all the found files.

  • If you discover needed Windows.old files, you ought to check them and press “Save” button immediately.
  • If you fail to find the files you need from the listed partitions, you ought to click to check the More Lost Files; then, check the needed files if you can find any and click on the “Save” button.

browse the results

Finally, you should select a destination for the checked files after clicking on the “Save” button (you can’t select the original drive as the destination out of security considerations). Then, click on the “OK” to confirm your selection. When all files have been recovered and saved to the destination, another window will pop up to inform you that the Windows.old restore is completed officially.

That’s all I want to talk about how to recover deleted Windows.old folder and how to restore programs from Windows.old. In addition, I still think it is necessary to discuss more on Windows.old folder, including the location of it, how to show Windows.old folder when it is hidden and how to delete this folder properly when necessary.

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Tip: Knowing well about the way to recover the Windows.old folder in Windows 10? Also want to know the exact steps to recover missing files on Windows 10? Yes, I can do you a favor. Please click here to watch the Windows 10 missing file recovery tutorial.

Why Do You Need to Restore Deleted Windows.old Folder

You may easily find people caring about how to restore Windows.old files when surfing the internet. Yet, many of you don’t know why they want to retrieve files from the Windows.old folder. To figure this out, you must have a good understanding of how Windows.old folder is generated and what does it contain.

Windows.old folder content

If you choose to “Keep nothing” when you upgrade to Windows 8.1, or if you reset, refresh, or reinstall Windows, your personal files are temporarily saved to the Windows.old folder for 28 days (unless you formatted your hard drive before installing).– according to Microsoft.

Reasons for You to Restore Windows.old File

With this Windows.old folder, you can roll back to your old system anytime you want when you are not fond of the new system/OS upgrade or when you find problems in it. You can copy files you need from the Windows.old folder and paste them to replace those files in the new system to solve the problem.

However, there is a question arising: what if the useful files in Windows.old folder are deleted by mistake or lost somehow? Definitely, you will need to recover files from Windows.old under such circumstances. In order to help you reach your goal, I recommend MiniTool Power Data Recovery in the previous part and tells you how to do the recovery exactly. You should follow the tutorial carefully.

Important Things to Know about Windows.old Folder

Why Windows.old Folder Is Here

In general, there are mainly two reasons to explain why “Windows.old” folder is still kept in the new system after reinstalling or upgrading.

  1. The first one is that it provides a convenient and safe way for you to go back to the previous system.
  2. While the second one is that it is able to help you recover your personal files from the Windows.old folder easily & quickly.

As for how to restore a computer to a previous Windows installation after you installed Windows 10, this post tells all. Please read it carefully when a downgrade is needed.

Since this folder does matter and it gets so much attention, I feel like talking more about it. Please select the part that you are interested in to read and skip what you find boring.

Where Is Windows.old Folder in Windows 10

People will choose to do a system reinstall when:

  • The speed of computer gets slower and slower.
  • The system crashes frequently.
  • The system runs into an error that can’t be fixed.

In addition, people are willing to install the update to their computer every time when Microsoft releases a new update.

After you have done all of those operations, you’ll have a “Windows.old” folder on your computer; and it is often kept in the computer’s system partition (usually C: drive) unless you have moved it to another place or the computer have been attacked by virus & the folder got moved/deleted. (I have shown the way to help you retrieve your files from Windows.old effectively)

FYI: How to recover files deleted by virus attack?

location of Windows.old

Except these, there’s a special case in which the “Windows.old” folder does exist on the computer, but it is invisible to you. Now, let’s see how to work this out.

How to Show Hidden Windows.old Folder in Windows 10

Sometimes, you’ll fail to see the “Windows.old” folder on your computer with a new system/update. In this case, it’s probably the Windows.old folder is lost. But there’s another possibility – it’s just hidden by the system, like the “$WINDOWS.~BT” folder.

If this happens then, you won’t get access to it. But the good news is that you can actually access the hidden folder after showing it by changing the Folder Options.

Please allow me to tell you how to unhide “Windows.old” folder.

Step 1: find “This PC” icon from your desktop of Win10. Then, double click on it or right click on it & choose “Open” to see the interface as shown below.

open This PC

Step 2: find your system partition (usually Local Disk C:) in this interface. Then, double click on it or right click on it & choose “Open” to access.

https://www.minitool.com/lib/system-partition.html

Step 3: click on “View” from the menu bar. Afterward, please click on the “Options” from the submenu and choose “Change folder and search options” from the drop-down list.

Change folder and search options

Step 4:

  1. Leave “General” tab and shift to “View”.
  2. Find “Files and Folders” option under “Advanced settings” area.
  3. Then, locate “Hidden files and folders” option and check “Show hidden files, folders, and drives”, instead of “Don’t show hidden files, folders, or drives”.
  4. At last, click on the “OK” button at the bottom of the “Folder Options” window.

Show hidden files, folders, and drives

Step 5: Now, you’re able to see the “Windows.old” folder in the system partition if it is really gone because of hidden.

Step 6:

  1. The last but not the least step is to right click on the “old” folder and choose “Properties” from the context menu you see.
  2. After that, you’ll be brought to the “General” tab, in which you should uncheck “Hidden” from the “Attributes” area and click on the “OK” button at the bottom.
  3. In the end, you should click on the “OK” button in the “Confirm Attribute Changes” window to confirm changes.

Confirm Attribute Changes”

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This post tells more about the folder recovery:

The Fabulous Folders Recovery Software Is Ready For You To Use
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Much folders recovery software with different quality can be found on the market; I’d like to introduce a reliable one.

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Tip: Besides, some people want to delete the “Window.old” folder because it occupies too much free space in the system partition, resulting in problems like low disk space and slow speed. They can get MiniTool Partition Wizard – a good disk assistant – to help.

Bottom Line

After reading this article, you must have a better understanding of “Windows.old” folder: what it is, why do you need to recover data from Windows.old folder, how to restore deleted Window.old folder, how to restore Windows.old files if this folder is disappeared/corrupted due to other reasons, the location of Windows.old folder and how to show it if it is hidden.

What I want to emphasize most by talking about these things is please be sure to stay calm so as to choose the most suitable way to solve the problems you have encountered properly.

If you do have other questions or suggestions on what I’ve covered, please leave a message below and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

Recover Data from Windows.old Folder FAQ

Where are my old files in Windows 10?
After a build update, the Windows.old folder will be created automatically to save backup copies of user files for about 10 days. Microsoft allows you to recover the old files by opening File Explorer, going to PC -> C: -> Windows.old, opening the user account subfolder to find needed files.
What happens if Windows.old folder deleted?
All the files and data from the previous Windows operating system will be stored in the Windows.old folder. Microsoft keeps this to help you revert to the previous version easily when you don’t like the new version. Therefore, deleting the Windows.old folder won't have any impact on current system.
Can I delete the Windows old folder without Disk Cleanup?
In fact, Windows will keep the Windows.old folder on your new system for a month. After that, it will delete this folder automatically to free up space on disk. You’re not allowed to delete the Window.old folder by hitting the delete key. Instead, you need to use Disk Cleanup or other removal tools.
How do I get my files back after upgrading to Windows 10?

You should recover files after Windows update ASAP!

  1. Click on the Start button in the lower left corner.
  2. Click on the Settings button (looks like a gear) from the left sidebar.
  3. Choose Update & Security from Settings window.
  4. Shift to Backup in the left pane.
  5. Click Go to Backup & Restore (Windows 7).
  6. Follow the instructions to restore lost files.
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