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Windows.old Cleanup Tool Does the Job

There’s been a persistent problem with recent Windows 10 releases in the Current (1607, into build 143xx) and Insider (into build 149xx) source trees. After installing an upgrade, elements of Windows.old resist removal, even with Disk Cleanup. Upon further inspection — as documented in this 10/15/2015  post — special maneuvers are needed. That means a boot to an alternate OS image and manual deletion at the command line. For some reason, the upgraded Windows environment runs drivers from Windows.old. Fortunately, there’s a cleaner for that. The Windows.old Cleanup Tool available at CNet’s makes booting into an alternate runtime unnecessary.

Compact and trivial to use, Delete Windows.old does the job.

What About the Windows.old Cleanup Tool?

According to CNet, a small software development company called Snailsuite built this tool. However, I can’t find much information about them. That said, details from the properties file for the “delete windows.old.exe” provide some context. They say the language is Chinese, and product name and copyright fields include Chinese glyphs.

Reassuringly, VirusTotal gives the file a clean bill of health (with a detection ratio of 0/56, the best outcome possible). That’s why I’m not worried about grabbing and using this tool. It’s simple, straightforward, and does the job. What more could one ask of a one-trick pony utility? It does take a long time to complete a full-blown cleanup, though, so I’d leave it for situations where normal cleanup techniques don’t result in a total scrubdown. As they say on the Internet, YMMV (your mileage may vary)!