Windows 8 Automatically Deletes Windows.Old Files

A new blog post from the folks at Redmond have revealed some new information about how the setup process is optimized in Windows 8.

This is a very interesting read and worth a look, but what I really want to focus on in this article is one area of the of Windows blog post that hit me as particularly worth mentioning here.

Windows 8 has come up with a new timer feature that will automatically delete Windows.old after four weeks have passed since the upgrade.

Windows.old is a folder that gathers old drivers and files from Windows.  This folder has existed for several versions of Windows but 8 is the first to automatically delete it.

Microsoft’s logic behind this move is that they give you ample time to get what you need off the folder and that allowing it to sit for months or even years (like in previous versions of Windows) is just wasting space.

Microsoft’s new Windows 8 upgrade process seeks out as many of these old drivers as possible and so needing to go in manually to Window.old and find certain files probably is going to be a rare and unlikely occurrence for most of us.

No matter how rare this event might be, I really am not a fan of Microsoft auto-deleting anything without some kind of user input. Keep in mind I also don’t like automatic updates and am a power user that likes to know exactly what is going on behind the scenes.

My hope is that Windows at least prompts the user several times as the delete date draws near, perhaps stating “Please check the Window.old folder for remaining needed drivers and files. You have X days until it automatically deletes”. Although I hope they give such a prompt, it wouldn’t surprise me if they didn’t.

Personally, I think the best approach for handling Window.old would be that after 3 or 4 weeks you start to get a prompt asking you to delete the folder through cleanup every time you start your PC. This would give users plenty of time to either make sure they have everything they need or make a CD/DVD backup for just-in-case purposes.

Is this feature really all that bad? Honestly, ti probably will only affect 10% or less of Windows 8. This seems like a fairly small problem, so why am I focusing this entire blog article on it? Even though its only a small problem for most of us, for those who are affected trying to find a driver manually on the net will be their only solution and this isn’t always easy to do.

Additionally, I feel Microsoft could find much easier ways to go about doing this that would let users know what is going on.

Overall this is no deal breaker by any means, but for those like me that like user  control or are paranoid of losing important files it is a very good idea to run a CD/DVD backup of the folder before the four weeks are up.

What do you think of Windows new deletion timer for the older files folder? Is there a better way this could be done? Do you like handling every aspect yourself or are you okay with Windows automating many of the processes without your intervention? Let me know what you think below!

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