How To Restore Files From Deleted Windows.old Folder on Windows 10

Have you ever upgraded your computer to the latest Windows only to lose your files and documents? It sounds like a nightmare, but there is an easy solution to this problem. Suppose you choose to “Keep nothing” when you upgrade to Windows 10 or reset, refresh, or reinstall Windows. In that case, all your files are temporarily saved to Windows.old folder for 28 days (unless you formatted your hard disk drive before installing). If you determine you want some or all of these files back, you can easily retrieve them from Windows.old folder. 

You can upgrade without fear if you know how to restore deleted files from deleted Windows.old folder on Windows 10. The process is quite simple. Check out the below-mentioned steps.

What is the Windows.old Folder?

The Windows.old folder, as its name refers, is your old version of Windows. A computer or laptop will automatically create a Windows.old folder to save files temporarily whenever you upgrade from Windows 7 or 8.1 to Windows 10 or 11 or update any of the major versions of Windows 11. It is a backup that will contain all the files and data from the previous Windows installation. 

Warning: Windows will delete the Windows.old folder 28 days after upgrading. Recover your files from Windows.old folder right away, or move the folder to a different location before the 28 days are over. 

How To Restore Files From Deleted Windows.old Folder on Windows

Follow the below steps to recover files from Windows.old folder on your computer:

  1. Open the File Explorer window.
  2. Double-click the drive that Windows is installed on (generally, the C: drive).
  3. Double-click the Windows.old folder to open it.
    How To Restore Files From Deleted Windows.old Folder on Windows
  4. Double-click the Users folder.
  5. Double-click your Username.
  6. Open the folders and browse the files you want to retrieve.
  7. Copy & paste the files you want from each folder to a new folder into your current Windows installation. 
  8. For each user account on your computer, repeat steps 5–7.

Once you have retrieved and restored your old files and data, you might consider deleting the Windows.old folder since it will take up a lot of space in your system. Check out our detailed step-by-step guide on how to delete Windows.old folder.

Things To Consider Before Deleting Windows.old Folder

  • We recommend backing up your files and settings to an external drive before refreshing, resetting, upgrading, or reinstalling Windows to prevent data loss.
  • You have only 28 days to recover files from Windows.old folder, starting when you refresh, upgrade to, install, or reset Windows 10 or 11. After that, most of the content of Windows.old is automatically deleted. 
  • Files and settings are stored in the Users or Documents and Settings subfolders of Windows.old (including the default My Documents folder in Windows XP) might still be available in Windows.old after 28 days. Still, other files, including Windows installation files, will be deleted. If you refresh Windows, reinstall, or reset, the previous Windows.old folder is replaced by a new Windows.old folder.

FAQs: Frequently Asked Question

How to recover deleted Windows.old folder?

In order to recover deleted Windows.old folder on your computer, you need powerful data recovery software like Recoverit Pro or EaseUS.

Can I recover files from Windows.old folder?

After upgrading an old version of Windows to another, you have a Windows.old folder automatically created on your PC. It is a folder that contains all of the operating system files and personal data files of your previous version. If you do not like the new Windows version, you can restore it from Windows.old folder.

How do I restore Windows.old on Windows 10?

For a limited time after upgrading to Windows 10, you’ll be able to go back to your previous version of Windows by selecting the Start button, then select Settings > Update & Security > Recovery and then selecting Get started under Go back to the previous version of Windows 10.

How do I restore Windows.old folder using Command Prompt?

To restore Windows.old folder using cmd, you need to open Command Prompt. Type this command in the Command Prompt window: rstrui.exe. Press Enter to open the System Restore wizard. After that, you just need to follow the on-screen instructions to restore your computer to previous date.