What Is the $WINDOWS.~BT Folder, and Can You Delete It?

The $WINDOWS.~BT folder is a temporary folder created by the Windows operating system during the process of upgrading or updating your system. It’s often associated with the Windows Update process, particularly when upgrading to a new version of Windows. The folder contains installation files and data related to the upgrade, and its name is derived from “Windows Back-Translation.”

Here’s what you need to know about the $WINDOWS.~BT folder and whether you can delete it:

  1. Purpose of the Folder: The $WINDOWS.~BT folder is used to store files necessary for the installation or upgrade of Windows. When you perform a major Windows update or upgrade, the installation files are temporarily stored in this folder before being used to replace or update system files.
  2. Size of the Folder: The size of the $WINDOWS.~BT folder can vary depending on the complexity of the update or upgrade you’re performing. It can be quite large, sometimes taking up several gigabytes of space.
  3. Can You Delete It?: Generally, it’s not recommended to manually delete the $WINDOWS.~BT folder. If you’ve recently performed a Windows update or upgrade and the folder is still present, it’s possible that the installation or update process is not yet complete. Deleting the folder prematurely could potentially lead to issues with your system.
  4. Automatic Cleanup: In many cases, Windows will automatically clean up the $WINDOWS.~BT folder after the update or upgrade process is complete and has been confirmed as successful. This is to prevent unnecessary clutter on your system drive.
  5. Disk Cleanup Tool: If you’re concerned about disk space, you can use the built-in Disk Cleanup tool to remove unnecessary files, including system files related to Windows updates. To access Disk Cleanup, search for it in the Start menu, select the system drive, and look for the “Windows Update Cleanup” option.
  6. Caution: If you manually delete the $WINDOWS.~BT folder or its contents, you might encounter issues if you ever need to troubleshoot, repair, or update your system. It’s always safer to let Windows manage its own update and upgrade files.

As always, it’s a good practice to create a backup of your important data before performing any major system changes. If you’re unsure about whether you can delete the $WINDOWS.~BT folder or if it’s causing any issues on your system, you might consider seeking guidance from Microsoft’s official support resources or community forums.

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