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How to Delete WINDOWS BT and WINDOWS WS Folders in Windows 10

Windows BT and Windows WS previous installation folders. Here are the steps you should follow to delete Windows BT and Windows WS folders.

After upgrading to a new Windows 10 version, you will see two folders called $WINDOWS.~BT and $WINDOWS.~WS within the C drive. These folders contain the files related to your older installation.

Typically, the size of these folders will be anywhere from 15GB to 40GB depending on your system. As you can guess, that is a huge amount of space to be spared. If you are running out space on your hard drive or don’t like wasting that much of space then you delete Windows BT folder and delete Windows WS folder for good. Deleting these folder will instantly free up a ton of space.

Let me show steps to delete $WINDOWS.~BT and $WINDOWS.~WS folders in Windows 10.

Jump to:

  1. What are Windows BT and Windows WS folders?
  2. Delete Windows BT and Windows WS folders

What are Windows BT and Windows WS folders?

$WINDOWS.~BT and $WINDOWS.~WS folders are created when you upgrade from one Windows version to the other. For instance, when you upgrade from v1090 to v2004, these folders are automatically created with all the files relating to your previous Windows installation. As you can guess, the previous installation folder will help you downgrade the Windows 10 machine to its previous version if you don’t like the new version or if it is creating problems.

You might be wondering what’s the difference between Windows BT folder and Windows WS folders. It is as follows:

  • The $WINDOWS.~BT folder contains files from your previous Windows 10 installation. So, when you try to downgrade or revert back to the older version, Windows will use files from this folder to restore the previous version.
  • The $WINDOWS.~WS folder contains setup files downloaded by the Windows 10 Media Creator Tool. These are the setup files that help you upgrade your machine to the latest version of Windows.

So, if you are good with the current version of the Windows then you can reclaim a considerable amount of space by simply deleting Windows BT and Windows WS folders. In fact, in my case, I claimed back nearly 35GB space. Considering my 256 GB SSD, that’s is a pretty good chunk of usable space.

One thing to keep in mind while deciding to delete these folders is that after deleting, you won’t be able to downgrade to the previous Windows installation. If you are good with that then proceed with the below steps. To be safe, create a system restore point before making changes.

Delete Windows BT and Windows WS folders

Note: After deleting these folders, you won’t be able to go back or downgrade to the previous Windows version. Also, when you delete $WINDOWS.~BT folder, it will delete Windows.old folder too. Windows.old folder is also related to the previous Windows installation.

1. Being system folders, you need to use the Disk Cleanup tool. Open Disk Clean-up tool by searching for it in the start menu.

Delete $windows.~bt And $windows.~ws Folders 1

2. Now, select the “C” drive from the drop-down menu. Click on the “Ok” button to continue.

Delete $windows.~bt And $windows.~ws Folders 2

3. As I said, these folders are system folders. So, click on the button “Clean up system files” button appearing at the bottom.

Delete $windows.~bt And $windows.~ws Folders 3

4. The above action will scan your system again for all the files that you can clean from your system.

5. From the list, select the checkboxes next to “Previous Windows installation(s)” and “Temporary Windows installations files.”

6. Click on the “Ok” button to continue.

7. When prompted for confirmation, click on on the “Delete” button to delete $WINDOWS.~BT and $WINDOWS.~WS folders.

That’s it. It is that simple. When you encounter these folders again after upgrading Windows, follow the same procedure to delete them.

I hope that helps. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible. Also, do you know that you can move the downloads folder in Windows to other partition or disk to free up even more space? Check it out to learn how to do it.

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