How can I delete "Windows" folder off of old HDD?

JohnDoe10

Reputable
Jan 18, 2016
7
0
4,510
0
I have Windows 10 installed on an SSD and on an old HDD. I want to delete the "Windows" folder on the HDD to save space, but it says I need permission from TrustedInstaller. I changed ownership to Administrator, but I can't edit any of the permissions.

Is it possible to delete this folder without formatting the hard drive? I have no space to backup my games and important files. I've tried editing the permissions in Safe Mode.

(If it is impossible to delete the "Windows" folder, will an external USB 3.0 HDD with power supply be good enough for gaming? I don't mind some long loading times.)
 

androbourne

Estimable
Jul 18, 2017
2,367
6
4,015
413
Read the thread you originally posted... He states by renaming it to .old, disk clean up should see it. Which makes sense because disk cleanup would think its from an upgrade.

If you rename it to .old it disk cleanup should see it.

Its worth a shot.

Also if that doesn't work instead of going the whole linux route you could probably just pull the drive out and added it to another system as a secondary drive or connect it via usb adaptor, browse to it and manually delete it. Since the file/folder wont be in use and it is not in a system. it should allow you to delete it or claim ownership then delete.
 

JohnDoe10

Reputable
Jan 18, 2016
7
0
4,510
0


Sorry, it didn't work. Whenever I want to change permissions for the Administrator, the options are un-clickable.

http://imgur.com/aT3CI1r
 

androbourne

Estimable
Jul 18, 2017
2,367
6
4,015
413
Did you try running the disk clean up method that was mentioned in the post? I had to do that after my upgrade and it actually worked.

rename Windows folder to "Windows.old
run "Disk Cleanup" via start
Select drive with "Windows.old" folder on it
Disk Cleanup let me now delete "old version of windows"

Also if this was from an upgrade. It should automatically delete it's self after I believe 30 days.

if that doesn't work, you can try to use "unlocker" tool. It may be able to stop whatever is tied to it and allow the deletion and if not, it will try to delete it on next reboot.
 

Colif

Win 11 Master
Moderator
Jun 12, 2015
60,499
5,087
166,290
10,419
its not a windows.old folder, its an old install I think. Half the advice on google is for the windows.old folder which isn't the question he asked. Disk cleanup probably won't even see the folder as its not part of current install, its from before.

You could use a linux liveusb to boot from and delete the folder as linux doesn't care about windows permissions
 

androbourne

Estimable
Jul 18, 2017
2,367
6
4,015
413
Read the thread you originally posted... He states by renaming it to .old, disk clean up should see it. Which makes sense because disk cleanup would think its from an upgrade.

If you rename it to .old it disk cleanup should see it.

Its worth a shot.

Also if that doesn't work instead of going the whole linux route you could probably just pull the drive out and added it to another system as a secondary drive or connect it via usb adaptor, browse to it and manually delete it. Since the file/folder wont be in use and it is not in a system. it should allow you to delete it or claim ownership then delete.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS