These are hidden files, so you probably won’t see them without some help. They’re associated with the Windows upgrade procedure, so you shouldn’t touch them unless you want to re-install Windows. However, there’s one folder that you might want to look into deleting, because it contains important information about how Microsoft upgrades your PC.
The $WINDOWS.~BT folder stores information about your previous version of Windows installed on your computer. This includes the product key used to activate the operating system, whether you’ve upgraded to a newer version of Windows, and even what features you had enabled. If you uninstall Windows 10, this folder isn’t deleted automatically, so you’ll still have access to those data.
You can view these files in either Windows Explorer or File Explorer. To open the latter, simply type “File Explorer” in the Start menu Search box, enter the address bar, and press Enter. Then, navigate to the following location: %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\$WINDOWS.~BT.
In addition to the $WINDOWS.~bt folder, you’ll see three folders containing the same information: $WINDOWS.~BT_OLD, $WINDOWS.~BT2, and $WINDOWS.~BT3.
To delete these folders, click the appropriate link in the left pane of the window. When prompted, confirm the deletion by clicking Yes.
This folder contains all the data associated with the older version of Windows. You might want to keep some of it because it contains important information such as drivers, software, etc., but there are many things inside this folder that you don’t use anymore. If you’re running out of storage space on your hard drive, you can delete this folder to free up some space.
To do this, follow these steps:
1. Select “Clean Up By Size”, then choose the drive where you store your documents. Then, click OK.
2. Delete the contents of the Recycle Bin.
3. Click OK twice to confirm.
4. Restart your computer and see if it works fine now.
$Windows.~BT folder stores backup copies of your personal files and settings. This includes documents, photos, videos, music, etc. If you are planning to reinstall Windows 10, you might want to keep these backups around. However, you don’t need to worry about the contents of this folder since it contains nothing except for some temporary files.
The $Windows.~WSD folder stores backup copies of the Windows System Directory. This includes registry entries, network connections, startup items, and other system configurations. As long as you do not use third-party software to modify the registry, you won’t have anything to worry about.
If you are unsure whether these folders contain something important, you can always run a disk cleanup utility to scan and free up space.
Alternatively, you can download the Microsoft app called “Disk Cleanup.”
When you uninstall Microsoft Office 2016, the installer removes the files and folders associated with the product. This includes the $windows.~btw folder. However, if you want to keep the original installation media, you must manually remove the $windows.~bnw folder.
No. Removing the $windows.~bmk folder doesn’t affect the ability to perform an upgrade. In fact, there isn’t anything wrong with the $windows.~bdt folder. You just don’t need it anymore.\
Microsoft announced today that it will end support for Windows 7 and Windows 8 on April 12th, 2019. If you’re still running one of those operating systems, you’ll soon have to make some tough decisions about whether to upgrade or stick with what you’ve got.
The good news is that there are ways to avoid having to do either. Here’s how to keep Windows 7 and 8 alive for another few months.
You can use Windows 7 to access Windows Store apps and games just fine. In fact, many people prefer doing so because they like being able to play games without having to go through Microsoft’s app store. But if you really want to run legacy software, you can.
Just open up the Start menu, type “windows”, hit Enter, and select “Apps”. From here, you can browse the list of installed programs and find the ones you’d like to run.
If you already have a copy of Windows 7, you can simply reinstall it over the existing OS. Otherwise, you’ll have to buy a new PC.
Windows 10 is now officially out of beta testing and ready for download. If you’re running one of the latest preview releases of the operating system, you’ll want to make sure you know how to clean up some leftover files. Microsoft says there are two places where old copies of Windows exist: One is inside the $WINDOWS.~BT folder and another is inside the Windows.old folder.
The $WINDOWS.~BT file contains old versions of Windows, including those used during development. You won’t find anything useful in here — it’s just a bunch of junk. However, the Windows.old folder contains older builds of Windows 10 that aren’t supported anymore. This includes the original build of Windows 10 that shipped with the Surface Pro 3 tablet and the Insider Preview builds that were used to test the OS.
You don’t need to worry about deleting either of these folders because they’re empty. But if you do decide to delete them, you’ll lose access to all the files stored inside.
To delete $Windows.~BT or $Windows.old folder, apply this trick:
Open Run dialogue box by pressing Window Key + R
Type cleanmgr.exeand hit Enter.
A dialog box of Disk Cleanup will open. Select C:, or the name of drive where you want to keep these folders.
After the completion of Disk CleanUp’s scanning, click on “Clean up System Files”.
Now, you will be presented options to clean Previous Windows Installation Files, Temp Windows Installation Files. Select them and click Ok.
Now, you are done. You can see the contents of $Windows.~BT and $Windows.old folders.
This article explains how to use the Windows security option to delete the folders $WINDOWS.~BTand $WINDOWS.~WS. These are hidden folders located inside the $Windows directory. If you do not know where these folders are located, it is recommended that you follow the instructions given here.
The following steps explain how to find out where these folders are located and how to delete them using the Windows security option.
Step 1: Open the Start menu and type “cmd”. Press Enter. A command prompt window opens up.
Step 2: Type the following commands one by one into the command prompt window.
dir /x $windows.~bt*
dir /x $window$ws*
The $windows.~bt file contains a list of registry keys that are used during the upgrade process. If you delete this file, Windows will still attempt to perform the upgrade, but it won’t work because some of the registry entries are missing.
Tim Wiley was a tech writer for seven years at Recode. In that time, he covered everything from basic browser.js and URL parameters to XHRs, performance, malware, security, enterprise apps, social media, and Windows secrets. He also written about how to hack Signal in 2016 and how to resist, or possibly even conquer, the zero-day threat.