Recover Windows.old Files in Windows 10 & 11

If you’ve recently upgraded your Windows operating system to Windows 10 or 11, you may be wondering how to recover your Windows.old files.

Understanding the Windows.old Folder

The Windows.old folder is created when you upgrade from an older version of Windows to Windows 10 or 11. It contains all the files and settings from your previous version of Windows. To recover files from the Windows.old folder, follow these steps:

1. Open File Explorer by pressing the Windows key + E.
2. Navigate to the C: drive, where Windows is installed.
3. Look for the Windows.old folder and double-click on it to open it.
4. Inside the Windows.old folder, you will find various directories, such as Users, Program Files, and Windows.
5. Navigate to the Users folder to find your personal files and folders.
6. Copy the files you want to recover and paste them into your current user directory.
7. Repeat this process for any other files or folders you want to recover.

Manual Steps for File Restoration

To manually restore Windows.old files in Windows 10 and 11, follow these steps:

1. Open File Explorer by pressing the Windows key and E simultaneously.
2. Navigate to the drive where Windows is installed, usually the C: drive.
3. Look for a folder named “Windows.old” and double-click on it to open it.
4. Inside the Windows.old folder, you will find various directories and files from your previous Windows installation.
5. Browse through the folders and locate the files you want to restore.
6. To restore a file, simply right-click on it and select “Cut” or “Copy”.
7. Navigate to the desired location where you want to restore the file.
8. Right-click on an empty space and select “Paste” to restore the file to the new directory.
9. Repeat the process for each file you want to restore.
10. Once you have restored all the desired files, you can close File Explorer.

Automatic File Recovery Methods

Recovery Method Description
File History Windows 10 and 11 has a built-in feature called File History which allows you to recover previous versions of files and folders from a specified period of time.
Previous Versions Windows 10 and 11 also have a feature called Previous Versions which allows you to restore individual files or folders from a specific point in time.
Third-Party Data Recovery Software If the built-in recovery methods do not work, you can use third-party data recovery software to scan for and recover Windows.old files.

Options for Data Recovery Without Windows.old

  • Third-party Data Recovery Software: Utilize reliable data recovery software like Stellar Data Recovery or Recuva to recover Windows.old files.
  • Restore from a Backup: If you have previously created a backup of your files, you can restore them from the backup source.
  • Check Recycle Bin: Verify if the Windows.old files are still present in the Recycle Bin and restore them from there.
  • Use File History: If you had enabled File History, you can retrieve previous versions of your files through this feature.
  • Check Shadow Copies: Access the Shadow Copies of your files by right-clicking on the folder containing Windows.old and selecting “Restore previous versions.”
  • Try System Restore: Use the System Restore feature to revert your computer back to a previous state when Windows.old files were intact.
  • Seek Professional Help: If all else fails, consult professional data recovery services to retrieve your Windows.old files.


Can Windows old be restored?

Yes, Windows old can be restored by going to “Settings > Update & Security > Recovery” and clicking the “Get Started” button under “Go back to Windows 7/8.1/10”. This will restore the old Windows operating system from the Windows.old folder.

How do I recover old Windows data?

To recover old Windows data, you can navigate to the folder where the file or folder was located, right-click it, and select “Restore previous versions.” If the folder was at the top level of a drive, like C:\, you can right-click the drive and choose “Restore previous versions.”

Can you go back to an older version of Windows?

Yes, you can go back to an older version of Windows by selecting the Start button, then navigating to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery. Under Go back to the previous version of Windows 10, select Get Started.

How do I get my original Windows back?

To get your original Windows back, you can restart your computer and use an external storage device. First, select the Start button, then go to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery. Under Advanced startup, click on Restart now. Next, choose the option to Use a device and select the external storage device that contains your original Windows.

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