How To Delete Windows Files on Second Hard Disk Drive or SSD

Updated on / dernière mise à jour : 11/14/2022

If you've installed Windows on your computer's other hard drive or SSD, you may want to delete all the Windows files that are still taking precious space on your previous drive (ssd or hdd). You may then notice that – for security reasons – Windows won't allow you to delete the files so easily. There is a way though. Follow the following steps:

1) Open the "Windows Terminal" on your desktop (you can type "terminal" in the search bar);
2) right-click on "Terminal" and select the "Run as administrator" option; when the popup appears, click on the "Yes" button;
3) copy this command to your terminal and press the enter key:

* Read this before completing steps 3 and 4: you must replace "D:\Windows" with the proper location of the Windows' directory you want to delete. The "Y" at the end of the first command means "Yes"; if you are using a desktop in another language (let's say French), you would need to replace "Y" by "O" (for "Oui", which means yes in French). If using another language, "administrators" in the second command would also need to be changed (in French, you would then replace "administrators" by "administrateurs"). Be careful though not to delete your newly installed Windows folder instead and always make copies of your important files prior to any such deletion.

takeown /F "D:\Windows" /A /R /D Y

4) copy this command to your terminal and press the enter key:

icacls "D:\Windows" /T /grant administrators:F

5) now, open your files' manager, right-click on the Windows folder you want to delete (in our example, this would be "D:\Windows") and proceed with the deletion. Once deleted, don't forget to use a tool such as CCleaner to clean your computer's registry.


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