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


Windows has now become the largest market of operating systems, with the latest running Windows 10. It’s set up on computer/laptop have also changed starting with time consumption process to install the upgraded version of Windows using CDs to the current scenario of using a USB drive to update windows in a less time-consuming way. With this update comes many unnecessary files that remain stored for a long time unless we realize it, and the question pops up in our mind “should I delete windows setup files? or “do I need windows setup files?”

windows 10
windows 10

This article right here might be an answer to all your question. Here we provide you with a good 10-step guide to remove your setup files and details about the windows setup files.

What Are Setup Files?

Almost every year, there is a chance of updating your Windows operating system. Even if you don’t upgrade it initially, after a certain point when Microsoft drops support from the older versions, you are bound to install the new versions. In this process of updating, A lot of backup files from the directories of the previous versions. These files are stored in two different kinds of folders: various other folders like the Windows folder, which mainly remains hidden, documents, program files, and other documents are also backed up in the process.

  • Windows.old
  • $Windows.~BT
    windows installer
    windows installer

The work of these folders is to help replace the missing files after the installation of a newer version of Windows is successful. Like everything, it also has a con. Although it is helpful in a way, as mentioned above but on the other hand, it takes up a lot of processing power. In this case, deleting windows setup files is helpful.

Can You Delete Windows Setup Files?

We know that system files are a vital part of the computer/laptop, so they remain hidden. Should I delete windows setup files? If you feel you must as it improves performance, you should.

Deleting these files can be scary as they may result in your computer/laptop is crashed. To make it easier to understand, let’s take a look at the files/folders which you should not delete:

  •  AppData, Program Files, or ProgramData situated in the windows system
  • C:\Windows

It is entirely safe to delete the following files/folders as, without them, your computer/laptop will work fine:

  • Windows setup files
  • Windows.old
    windows old
    windows old
  • $Windows.~ BT

So, Do you need Windows set up files? No, not really.

How Do I Delete Windows Setup Files?

As mentioned above that, it is entirely safe to remove/delete the windows setup files. Disk cleanup is the process to delete unwanted files. It mainly removes the unwanted markers or pointers that s used to detect the setup files. All the other information like pictures or any other personal data is kept safe and is accessible anytime. 

Take a look at these steps and follow along.

  1. In the search bar of the home screen,
  2. Type disk cleanup and press enter
    search disk clean up
    search disk clean up
  3. After the dish cleanup app opens, click on Run as administrator.
    run as administrator
    run as administrator
  4. Next, a pop-up window will appear named disk cleanup: Drive Selection. Here, select the file drive in which the Windows operating system files are located.
  5. After you have selected the files, the window will show all the unwanted files present on your PC. Here, click on the boxes consisting of “previous Windows installations” and “temporary windows installation files.”
    temporary windows installation files
    temporary windows installation files
  6. In the next step, make sure to uncheck all the other boxes except the two mentioned above.
  7. Next select “ok.”
  8. In this step, a window appears to ask the user to delete the particular files permanently. Here, click on the delete files option. This step will take some time.
    delete files
    delete files
  9.  After the above step is done, you need to restart your computer/laptop to complete the whole process of cleanup.
  10. This step is optional; you may or may not need this. Doing a rough check through some of the temp files/folders and end the drive to see if you can remove any old setup files.


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Should I delete windows setup files? Is it ok?

You can safely delete setup files after you have set up the corresponding software. It causes no harm. The programs will continue to work even without them.

What are the unnecessary files in Windows 10?

Some unnecessary files include downloads, windows update cleanup, recycle bin, delivery optimization files, thumbnails, Microsoft defender antivirus, temporary internet files, temporary files.

What is taking up so much space on my PC?

Applications and games use up most of the disk space. Uninstalling the unwanted programs and removing them from your hard drive might be a good option.

Should I delete previous Windows installations?

You may need to download Windows 10 installation media if you ever want to reset it. We recommend not to delete it unless there is a severe need to get some free space. When you delete Windows installations, there might be some difficulty when using the “Reset your PC” feature on your computer/laptop.

How do I make the performance of my laptop better?

Some methods are: disabling shows, animations, or any visual effects, injuring transparency, killing bloatware, defragging hard disk, or shutting down and restarting Windows.

See Also: Fix The Error: ‘System Restore Does Not Appear To Be Functioning Correctly On This System’ Easily


We hope that now if the question “should I delete windows setup files?” pops up in your mind; you know the answer and precisely the steps you need to follow. This 10-step guide is to the point and gives you the necessary details about the windows setup files. As already mentioned, this process will not delete the old files permanently, and your data is still stored and accessible.

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