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What is $Windows.bt? Can you delete the folder?

Windows is an ever-evolving operating system thanks to the frequent updates that keep fixing (and sometimes breaking) the OS. However, have you ever wondered where these updates get stored on your PC?

In this article, we’re talking about the $Windows.BT folder, the kind of data it stores and how you can delete it if you need to save some space. 


What is the $Windows.BT folder?

$Windows.BT is the folder containing files from your previous Windows updates. For example, if you upgraded from an older OS to Windows 10 or changed builds on Windows 10, the files used for those upgrades will be stored in this folder. 

The folder also contains any logs and troubleshooting data that might help diagnose why the update didn’t go through properly. These files are also used to downgrade to a previous build and recover your system to an earlier state. 

Also read: USB power management in Windows 11 explained


Should you delete the $windows.bt folder?

While Windows automatically deletes this folder after 10 days, if you’re running low on disk space, deleting this folder can free up some of it, as these usually tend to hog up quite a lot of space. However, there are a few caveats you should know about. 

Once you delete this folder, you won’t be able to downgrade from Windows 10 or to another build of Windows 10. Additionally, the System Recovery option will also not work. 

How to delete $windows.bt folder?

Follow these steps to get rid of the $Windows.BT folder. 

Step 1: Press the Windows key and search for Disk Cleanup. Click the corresponding search result. 

What is $Windows.bt? Can you delete the folder?

Step 2: You’ll be asked to select a partition. Go ahead and select the Windows one. 

What is $Windows.bt? Can you delete the folder?

Step 3: Click Clean up system files. 

What is $Windows.bt? Can you delete the folder?

Step 4: When the Disk Cleanup utility reappears, select any of the following list options depending on what you see. 

  • Previous Windows Installations
  • Windows Update Cleanup
  • Windows upgrade log files
  • Temporary Windows installation files
  • Temporary files
What is $Windows.bt? Can you delete the folder?

Step 5: Click OK to proceed. 

What is $windows.bt? Can you delete the folder?

Once you’re done, the $Windows.BT folder will be removed. If it isn’t, the residual folder will only be left with some log files; you can quickly delete it like usual folders in Windows.

However, if you’re facing permission issues doing so, you can open up an Administrator Command Prompt and type in the following commands one at a time. Just make sure to replace C:\ with the drive letter of your Windows partition. 

takeown /F C:\$Windows.~BT\* /R /A 
icacls C:\$Windows.~BT\*.* /T /grant administrators:F 
rmdir /S /Q C:\$Windows.~BT\

Also read: What is Windows audio device graph isolation? Everything you need to know

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