[urgent] Recover entire system from Windows.old

New Contributor

The original issue came about when I plugged in a hard-drive formatted for a NAS bay as my second PC hard-drive. Suddenly, my computer insisted that Windows 10 was corrupted, even after removing the drive from the system. I spent a long time trying to recover it with a USB bootable media, but Windows said it could not do anything to fix the system and needed to do a clean install. I now have Windows.old, which to my knowledge is completely uncorrupted and just needs a nudge in the right direction, and it is staring me in the face as this ticking timebomb that I need to figure out before it gets automatically deleted. I don't have any specific files I need to recover, I just don't have the time to reinstall all of the programs and all of the user data and custom stuff I've built up. 


I've searched everywhere but can't find an answer, so I would be so, so, so, so appreciative of any help. Is there any way that I can just completely recover the entire system from the windows.old folder in a situation like this? I am happy to pay up to $100 in licenses for stuff, I just want to get back to running my online business knowing that it's all set up and secure as I had it.

6 Replies

Hi @curtnos

Please follow the step to get back to the previous state.

  • Press Win + I to launch Settings, select Update & Security, then Recovery.
  • From Go back to my previous version of the Windows 10 section, select Get started.

Please do not hesitate to contact me for any further assistance, I will welcome all the questions you may have.

@SalmanAhmed Thank you for the quick reply. These are the options I have, is "Go back to my previous version of the Windows 10" the option I should click "Get started" for?

Hi @curtnos 

Before you start, I will recommend you to backup the following folders to the safe place:

  • Contacts
  • Desktop
  • Documents
  • Downloads
  • Favorites
  • Links
  • Music
  • OneDrive
  • Pictures
  • Saved Games
  • Searches
  • Videos

You need to copy it from the below locations:




 Once you've done, go to the "Go back to my previous version of the Windows 10" and select "Get started". It will restart your computer in recovery mode and restore you previous Windows

I am still unable to find any options in settings which mentions returning to a previous version, only the setting to reset the system. If I do that with a bootable media, refresh with the usb as the first drive to boot, I get this chain of options. None of which seem to suggest I have a previous state to return to.
This is as far as I can get by using the boot manager to start on the corrupt partition, but none of the options get me anywhere even though I have a bootable USB in

Hi @curtnos,

I found this useful article with a number of useful steps to troubleshoot your issue, please check it out: