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After upgrading to Windows 10, you can see two folders on your system or C drive named $Windows.~BT and $Windows.~WS. These folders are created by Windows during the upgrade process.
The $WINDOWS.~BT folder is a temporary folder created by Windows Update that contains the logs and update files downloaded by the Windows update process. By default, the $WINDOWS.~BT folder is hidden. It exists in the root directory of your system drive. To see it, enable the display of the hidden folder in Windows 10.
A look at the $Windows~BT folder
A digital download of Windows 10 can be performed using one of the following methods: Windows Update, the Windows Update Wizard or the Media Creation Tool. If you use one of these methods, Setup creates a hidden folder in the root directory of the system drive called $Windows~BT. This folder contains all the installation files and logs that Windows 10 uses to perform the installation.
Before you can access $Windows~BT, you may need to enable hidden files. Open File Explorer > This computer and open the system drive on which Windows 10 is installed. Click the View tab, then delete the hidden items in the Show/Hide group. You will see the $WINDOWS~BT folder.
Inside, you can see one or more folders. A shared folder is Sources, which contains additional folders. Open it to see the content. The content is similar to that of a Windows 10 installation CD or USB stick. The specific files and folders found in the folder may vary with new versions of Windows 10.
Can you delete it and how?
The $WINDOWS.~BT folder can be safely deleted. However, you cannot delete this folder as usual. In this article, we will show you 2 ways to delete the $WINDOWS.~BT folder to recover your hard disk space.
Warning: If you delete the $WINDOWS.~BT folder on Windows 10, you cannot switch to the previous version of Windows 10 or to a previous version of Windows that your PC had installed. The option to reset your PC under Settings > Update and Security > Restore expires. However, Windows 10 automatically deletes these files after ten days anyway.
However, if you want to delete these files, you can do so. But you shouldn’t just delete them in the normal way. Instead, you should use the disk cleaning tool that is provided with each version of Windows you are using.
To do this, run the Disk Cleanup tool and click Clean System Files. Check the following items in the list and delete them:
- Previous Windows installation(s): Deletes the $WINDOWS.~BT and Windows.old folders on Windows 10.
- Temporary Windows installation files: This deletes the $WINDOWS.~BT folder on Windows 7 and 8 and the $WINDOWS.~WS folder on Windows 10.
- Click OK to delete the files.
If there is a lot of data to delete, please be patient while deleting it from your hard drive. Once the files are deleted, the disk cleaner closes automatically. The Windows.old, $Windows.~BT and temporary Windows installation files have been deleted from your computer.
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I am a computer enthusiast and a practicing IT Professional. I have years of experience behind me in computer programming, hardware troubleshooting and repair. I specialise in Web Development and Database Design. I also have a CCNA certification for Network Design and Troubleshooting.