What is $Windows.~WS folder in Windows 10?

By Alexandra Bagratian | August 28, 2018 |

greater than 2 minutes

‘Mystery is the number one

conjurer of ideas’

David Lynch

We believe you came here to find out what the $Windows.~WS folder is. Well, we know too well that Windows 10 is not as straightforward as it may seem: it is literally full of titles, codes and messages that may appear confusing not only to the untrained eye but even to software experts. So, it is small wonder that one of such Win 10 secrets has brought you here. Just read on to get the answers you have been looking for.

What is the $Windows.~WS folder?

It is no exaggeration to say that Microsoft is a bit pushy about updates and upgrades, and if you are reading this article at the moment, you are most likely one of those users who have been persuaded into upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or 8. If that is your case, you have two hidden folders in your system that are related to the upgrade process that you have performed earlier, the $Windows.~WS directory being one of them.

The folder in question stores essential files of the system you had running on your PC before Windows 10. The main point of this directory is to provide an opportunity to downgrade to your previous OS should the need arise. To wrap things up, the $Windows.~WS folder is sort of a backup of your earlier operating system.

To access the directory, you should go to the system partition and expand the View section. Then check the Hidden items box. Keep in mind that you can find the $Windows.~WS folder only after an upgrade; if you have clean installed your Windows 10, the folder in question is absent from your system.

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Can I delete the $Windows.~WS folder?

Yes, that is technically possible, but bear in mind that deleting this folder means you will not be able to switch back to your previous operating system. So, if you are toying with the idea of a downgrade, you should keep the $Windows.~WS folder intact.

If you are planning to eliminate the folder and are aware of the consequences of what you are about to do, you are free to use the instructions below:

  1. Press the Windows logo key + S shortcut on your keyboard to open the Search app.
  2. Type Disk and press Enter.
  3. Open Disk Cleanup and move to your system partition.
  4. Select Clean Up System Files.
  5. Check all the boxes available. Click OK.
  6. Be patient until the cleanup process is over.
  7. Then go to the $Windows.~WS directory and delete its contents.

This is it – the $Windows.~WS folder is no more. It is a good idea to clean your system registry after deleting important files, folders and apps, and you can use Auslogics Registry Cleaner for this purpose. This tool is 100 % free, so it will cost you nothing to get your Windows Registry in tip-top shape. And we recommend you to use Auslogics Anti-Malware if you want to keep protected from most of threats.

If you have any questions about the $Windows.~WS folder, feel free to post them in the comment section below so that we can help you find the right answers.

Fed up with your slow PC? Tired of waiting for Windows to start up? Take a look at the most common reasons behind poor performance and the best ways to deal with them here.
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