Is it safe to delete the hidden folder $Windows~WS?

Could a MS Tech person answer this please?

After my upgrade to Windows 10 there were still 2 hidden folders $Windows~BT and $Windows~WS on the C Drive. Running Disk Cleanup deleted the $Windows~BT folder. Is it safe to delete the other hidden folder $Windows~WS? There are nearly 6GB of files in it. Loving my new Windows 10!

Many thanks in advance.

 

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Last updated September 11, 2019 Views 96,277 Applies to:
Answer
Answer

They are both temporary directories used by windows to update your system.

It is safe to delete both to reclaim valuable space.

Microsoft has not updated the disk cleanup tool to delete $Windows.~WS yet (but you can delete it manually).

To delete them you need to change permissions first.

Right-click start, Command Prompt (admin)

Copy and paste each set of commands and press enter

You might need to press Y - to delete and change permissions

If it does not work and you get "Access Denied" errors - repeat the instructions again

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

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

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Here's a batch file so you dont have to manually type it the next time. Remember to right click and run as Admin.

Windows10_Cleanup.bat < This will take you to Google Drive where you can download the file.

If you get a SmartScreen error, just make the batch file yourself.

1) Open Notepad and copy the following

@echo off
@echo "This will delete the folder C:\$Windows.~WS and C:\$Windows.~BT after an update to reclaim space. Windows 10 only."
@echo --------------------------------
@echo If you get message "The system cannot find the file specified" it means the folder is already deleted.
@echo --------------------------------
PAUSE
RD /S /Q "C:\$Windows.~WS"
RD /S /Q "C:\$Windows.~BT"
@echo --------------------------------
@echo All done
@echo --------------------------------
PAUSE NULL

2) Save as, select All file types and save as name.bat

All done.

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