Should I Delete Windows Setup Files? (10 Step Guide)

Every year, millions of individuals upgrade their Windows operating systems. Users are compelled to upgrade as Microsoft discontinues support for prior versions to obtain fixes, security upgrades, and new features. In this article, you will learn what Setup files are and the answer to your question: Should I Delete Windows Setup Files? 


Many of the folders in your prior version of Windows are backed up throughout the upgrading process. That includes your Windows folder (hidden), user profiles, documents, and application files. Also, the Windows settings personal files are not meant to be shared with other users. The system will not allow you to save your personal files in a shared folder.

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With fast-changing technology, Windows is set up on PCs has also changed. Gone are the days of CDs with tedious and time-consuming setup processes. Today windows can be easily downloaded onto a USB drive, or it can be downloaded from the cloud if you have a licensed version, making the process of installing or updating the OS a tremendously easy task for an average user. 

windows setup files

This article below aims to provide answers to the following questions

  1. What exactly are windows setup files?
  2. What are extra setup files?
  3. Should I delete windows setup files?

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What Exactly Are Windows Setup Files?

When you run the installation application to upgrade Windows or perform a fresh install, it deposits some setup files on your PC. This is usually in the C: drive – instead of accessing the application you opened initially, it can now run the setup through temporary files that it created.

should i delete windows set up files

The problem with this is post-installation. Therefore these files will not be cleared from the PC and are visible on a simple search. These files have no purpose post-installation and take up storage space. We will move forward in answering your question’ should I delete windows setup files? ‘

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What Are Extra Setup Files?

As we try to install and constantly update windows, we find that the setup files of previous installations are still present on our PC.


These are the extra windows setup files that are old and safe to delete. These remnants take up storage space on your PC and clutter the storage with old and new setup files.

Should I Delete Windows Setup Files?

Deleting any windows file is a terrifying task, and for a good reason. These files are essential for your Windows OS to run without crashing, and they are hidden from the users to avoid accidental deletes. If you want to delete Windows setup files, it is crucial to understand the files that are safe and not safe to delete.

should i delete windows setup files

The following are safe to delete

  1. Windows. old
  2. Windows setup files
  3. $Windows.~BT


The following are not safe to delete

  1. C:\Windows
  2. Windows system files in AppData, Program Files, Program Data

 How To Delete Windows Setup Files?

The followings steps help you to delete windows setup files

Method 1 Know What Disk Cleanup Do?

To help with the process of deleting Windows setup files, Microsoft has provided a unique tool called “Disk Cleanup,” which comes built-in with Windows 10 operating system. This tool helps delete setup files from older installations, thus allowing users to free up additional space on their PC. 


However, as handy as this tool is, there are crucial aspects to understand before running disk cleanup.

  1. Disk Cleanup does not permanently delete setup files from your personal computer.
  2. It negates your hard drive’s ability to detect setup files and allows your PC to overwrite them with other data.
  3. Users can still find the data from the old setup files on your hard drive, making it recoverable. cleaning
  4. Disk Cleanup makes the old setup files redundant by hiding them, but it might still impact your computer’s processing power.
  5. You can delete other temporary files as well using Disk Cleanup.

Method 2 Do Disk Cleanup

Here’s the 10-step guide on how to delete windows setup files

  1. Firstly, click on the search bar in the bottom right corner of your windows home screen.
  2. Secondly, enter “disk cleanup” into the search bar.
  3. Then select the “Run as administrator” option on the disk cleanup as administrater
  4. Once the disk cleanup app’s “Drive selection” pop-up opens, select the drive which contains the files of your Windows operating system.
  5. Once you’ve selected the drive where your Windows operating system files are located, the pop-up will show all the unwanted files logged on your PC. Click the checkboxes for “previous Windows installations” and “temporary windows installation files.”disk cleanup
  6. Remember to uncheck all the other options except the temporary windows installation files and previous windows installations.
  7. Click on the “Ok” button.
  8. A pop-up would ask if you permanently delete the selected files and select the delete files option. This takes some time to complete. delete files
  9. Finally, after the disk cleanup process is complete, Restart your PC.
  10. (Optional) Roughly come through the temp folder and end the drive to see if you can find any old setup files.

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Therefore, this tool will not delete old files permanently. It masks the signs and makes it impossible for your hard drive to detect these files, but they are still stored on your PC’s hard drive.

One effective way to delete unwanted files – old windows, temp files, or personal files – and better your PC performance is to perform a Windows Reset with permanent delete files options. This resets your windows OS by reinstalling it to a state when you first installed the OS on your PC. Moreover, it deletes any other applications, files, etc., that you may have manually installed or saved on your PC. This is a one-time operation and cleans the slate thoroughly. Hopefully, this article ‘should I delete windows setup files ?’ will be helpful for our readers. 

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