Windows updates and upgrades were things you only looked forward to every few months or even years. But since Microsoft decided to stop introducing new Windows versions after Windows 10, we began to see frequent updates. The twice-yearly feature and quality rollouts are practically full upgrades themselves.
Updating and upgrading your system is part of the most sacred activity of owning a computer because you don’t want to use an insecure and incompetent computer.
When you initiate an upgrade, Windows begins to download installation files to your system. These files are stored in different locations on your hard drive. For starters, you have the SoftwareDistribution folder, which stores update files before they’re installed.
Another folder associated with the Windows upgrade process is the Panther folder, which we’ll be discussing.
Some users have come across the folder and are asking questions about it, mostly because it’s located in folders with strange characters and takes up a lot of space. In this article, we’ll be clearing the confusion about the folder.
What is the Windows Panther folder?
The Panther folder contains setup, installation, and upgrade log files for Windows. In Windows 10, the folder’s location depends on your upgrade installation stage, and you can only see it when you allow the File Explorer to show hidden content.
The phases and corresponding locations are as follows:
Down-level phase: C:$WINDOWS.~BT\Sources\Panther
Windows Preinstallation Environment phase: X:$WINDOWS.~BT\Sources\Panther
Online configuration phase or first boot phase: C:\WINDOWS\PANTHER
Windows Welcome phase: C:\WINDOWS\PANTHER
Rollback phase: C:$WINDOWS.~BT\Sources\Panther
The Panther folder has its uses. The installation files can help you roll back to your previous Windows 10 build if you don’t fancy your upgrade or are having compatibility issues. The log files can help you track and resolve problems with the installation process.
Can I delete Panther in Windows 10?
Many users have asked if it is safe to delete the C:\WINDOWS\PANTHER folder. The simple answer is YES.
The folder contains essential log files and data that will come in handy if something goes wrong during installation. The log files would point you to underlying problems that stopped the installation process. However, if the installation went fine and you don’t intend to roll back to your previous Windows build, you can delete the folder as this poses no risk to your system’s current state. Windows will also remove the program after a period anyway.
That said, you have to be careful with how you go about getting rid of the folder.
How to remove the Panther folder in Windows OS
The Panther folder can take up a lot of space on your hard drive. This is why most users want to get rid of it. Remember that if you intend to go back to your previous Windows 10 build, you have to keep the folder intact.
Using the regular right-click-and-delete option isn’t recommended if you want to remove the folder from your system. The safe option is using the Disk Cleanup utility.
The following steps will show you what to do:
- Click on the folder icon in the taskbar or right-click the Start button and select File Explorer.
- You can also hold the Windows logo key and punch the E key to open the File Explorer.
- After File Explorer shows up, go to the left pane and click on This PC.
- Next, go to the Devices and Drives section in the right pane, right-click on your main volume where the folder is located, which should be the Disk C under normal circumstances, and then click on Properties in the context menu.
- Once the disk’s Properties dialog window shows up, click on the Disk Cleanup button under the General tab.
- After you see the Disk Cleanup window, check the boxes beside the temporary files that you wish to delete, then click on the OK button.
- Once the cleanup process is complete, restart your computer.
You can also go through the Settings application to clear out Windows installation files. Follow these steps:
- Right-click the Start button and select Settings or tap the Windows logo and I keyboard buttons together.
- After Settings shows up, click on the System icon.
- Once you see the System interface, go to the left pane and click on Storage.
- Go to the right side of the screen and click on “Temporary files.”
- Allow Windows to scan your temporary files.
- Once the scan is complete, select the categories of temporary files that you want to get rid of, and then click on the Remove Files button.
That’s how to get rid of the Panther folder.
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That’s it. You no longer have to worry about the Panther folder. It’s completely safe and useful in certain situations. You can always keep it if you have space on your hard drive until Windows automatically deletes it.