$Windows.~bt Folder: Everything You Need To Know





Normally, windows do not take much space when it upgrades into a new version or adds a new feature via updating the OS. however, it does create a few temporary files and folders in your system while it upgrades. And one of the folders that take a lot of GB from your hard drive is the $windows.~bt folder. In this article, we will explain to you what is the $ folder on your system and how can you delete it.

What Is The $ Folder?

The $windows.~bt folder is a temporary folder that is saved on the drive where the Windows Operating System is installed in your system. This folder is usually saved as a hidden folder in the drive. When you upgrade your older Windows Operating System to Windows 10 or upgrade your Windows 10 for new features, a considerable amount of folders will be created in your system. All these folders and files related to your previous windows installation are saved in the $Windows.~bt folder in your drive. 

This folder contains some of the important log files that can help you with troubleshooting your system when the upgrade fails. In case you are curious to know whether these files will be on Windows 7 or Windows 8 operating systems. Then yes, they will be there. During an upgrade to a higher version or any upgrade for new features, the installation process created this folder on your system.

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What does the $windows.~bt folder contains inside it?

The installation and upgrading of windows 10 can be performed using any one of the following methods: Windows Update, Windows Update Assistant, or the Media Creation Tool. When the upgrading of Windows is done using any of them, they create the hidden and temporary folder called $windows.~bt in your drive. As this folder is hidden, before you can view the setup and log files, you might have to enable the hidden files in your windows. To do this follow these steps:

  1. Open the file explorer
  2. Then go to this PC folder
  3. From there, open your system drive where you have installed windows 10 for your system.
  4. Click on the View tab and then check off the hidden items in the show or hide the section.

Once, you do this, you will be able to see the $windows.~bt folder, if your system has a restore backup folder. A very common folder found in $windows.~bt will be “Sources”. This folder contains additional folders. If you open it you will notice that the contents inside the Sources folder are somewhat similar to the one you found in the Windows 10 install disc or USB thumb drive. However, a few specific files and folders you find in the folder will be different from the newer version of Windows 10. One of the important files created inside the $windows.~bt folder will be electronic Software Delivery or EDS. This file contains the whole copy of windows 10 that previously users could convert into ISO media and create a copy. But now, the EDS is split into smaller files and usually needs a third-party app to compile them into a single usable EDS file.

Another important folder that is stored inside the $windows.~bt is called the Panther folder. This folder keeps a backup record of what happens during the setup process. By chance your windows face an unsuccessful installation, then you can check the setup error located in that folder. This file will be able to help you find out what the block might be and how can you overcome it. In conclusion, the $windows.~bt folder is supposed to contain the files and log required for restart setup. However, few users who tried to do so have said that it doesn’t always. Therefore, it is not a convenient way to resume a failed setup. Therefore, the $windows.~bt doesn’t have any actual purpose or any benefit in keeping it in your system. 

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Is it safe to delete the $Windows.~bt folder?

In case you are running out of space on your hard drive and need it urgently, then it is a very good idea to delete the directory and all its contents. The $windows.~bt folder takes a lot of space in your hard drive. If you are curious about how much, then let us tell you it takes many gigabytes of drive’s storage space, which you could use for saving something more important. However, keep in mind that once you delete this folder, you will no longer be able to use the System Recovery. 

NOTE: System Recovery can be found in Settings> Update and Security> Recovery.

This means you cannot recover your system to a fresh installation of windows.

How to delete the $windows.~bt Folder?

If you wish to delete this folder and its contents then you can’t do it in the normal way just by selecting it and then pressing the delete key. Instead, you should use the Disk Cleanup Tool that is included with the Windows you are using. Follow the steps below to delete the $windows.~bt folder and the content.

  1. Go to the taskbar, and on the search bar type “Disk Cleanup” on the text panel.
  2. Once the results pop-up, select the “Disk Cleanup app”. When the app first launches, it will scan for all the areas where you can delete folders and files to clean up space in your system.
  3. After the Disk Cleanup utility opens, click on the “Clean up system files” and the Disk Cleanup utility window will vanish. Wait until the tool has finished scanning your system. Once, the tool finishes the scan it will reappear.
  4. After it reappears, you will be able to see extra options in the list.

Remember these can vary from system to system but select the following options in the list:

  • Previous Windows Installation
  • Windows Update Cleanup folder
  • Windows upgrade log files
  • Temporary Windows installation files
  • Temporary files

NOTE: the options in the list you see depend on the version of your Windows and as well as which Windows 10 build you have installed.

  1. Click on the “OK” button to continue with the deleting of the $windows.~bt folder and all the windows installation and the update setup files and log files from your system.

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