By Lily / Last update August 25, 2022

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The issue: Windows.old files missing

The Windows.old folder, as its name refers, is your old version of Windows. It will be generated in your C: drive after you upgrade from Windows 7 or 8.1 to Windows 10 or update to any of the major versions of Windows 10. You can use it to restore system to the old version of Windows and retrieve specific files if you need.

However, some users find Windows.old files missing when they turn to it. Here is one user’s experience:

“Help guys. A while back I had to reinstall Windows after it had crashed on me, and so it created a Windows.old file that had all my old files on it. I would go C drive, Windows.old, users, user, and then I could find all my stuff there.

But today I needed to get something from there, and saw that the ‘user’ folder is missing, I have other folders in there like Public, Default, Defaultuser0, and Hanna (my name) but none of those has my old stuff in it.”

How it comes? The fact is that Windows.old is deleted automatically after 10 days since you upgraded. You must take advantage of it within the date. Then, how to restore Windows.old in Windows 10/8/7 after it is deleted automatically?

How to recover deleted Windows.old folder easily

To recover deleted Windows.old folder, you need powerful data recovery software. Recoverit Pro comes to help. Learn how to restore Windows.old in Windows 10 below. You can restore Windows.old in Windows 8/7 with the same steps.

1. Install and run Recoverit. Select the “Deleted Files Recovery” mode to start.

Select Recovery Mode

Note: Please don’t install the program on the partition/drive where your files are deleted.

2. Select “Disk (C:)” to scan for deleted Windows.old folder and click “Start”.

Select a Disk

3. Wait for the scanning process to be done.

Deleted Files Recovery Scan

4. (Optional) If you cannot find the Windows.old folder on the first scanning results. You can go to scan agian with “All-around Recovery” mode to search deeply for lost data, but it will take more time.

All-around Recovery Scan

5. Tick the Windows.old folder and click “Recover”.

Bonus tip: backup OS before you upgrade Windows

After you struggle your way to recover deleted, lost files, you must learn a lesson from it: always backup important data! I’d like to recommend the best free backup software to you—AOMEI Backupper Standard.

It enables you to create image backups for the system, disk, partition or even selective files, and you can restore them whenever it is needed. Follow the instructions below to create a regular system backup for Windows via AOMEI Backupper:

Step 1. Download, install and launch AOMEI Backupper.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 2. Click on “Backup” and select “System Backup”.

System Backup

Step 3. The required system partition(s) is (are) selected by default. Choose the destination path to store the backup files. Click “Schedule” in the bottom.

Select Destination

Step 4. In the pop-up window, choose the frequency of the task to run: Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event triggers, and USB plug in. If you choose the last two modes, you need to upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional to perform it.

Schedule Settings

Step 5. Confirm the operation and click “Start Backup”.

Start Backup

>> Options: you can enable email notification, choose the compression level for the system image and select intelligent sector backup or sector-by-sector backup.
>> Scheme: it will delete old image files automatically to save disk space for you. This feature is supported by AOMEI Backupper Professional and higher editions.

How to restore from the system image you created?

1. Restore system

Go to Restore > Select Task. Then, select the system backup task you’ve created and follow the wizard to complete the restoration process. Or you can go to Restore > Select Image File to locate the image file you want to restore directly.

Select Task

2. Restore individual files

Go to Tools > Explore Image. Then, select the system backup image and a backup time point to explore. The partitions in the system image will be mounted as virtual drives from which you can copy back the files you want.

You don’t need to detach the virtual drives after recovering your files, because they will be automatically detached when the computer shuts down.

Explore Image


Now you know how to recover deleted Windows.old folder in Windows 10/8/7 efficiently. To keep yourself away from data loss, you should run regular backups with AOMEI Backupper.

Other than the backup & recovery feature, it owns the clone function. You can use it to clone Dell laptop hard drive and clone SSD to larger SSD in Windows 10. Go for this tool and enjoy all the wonderful features right now!