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Is Windows 10 Waiting on Your Hard Drive?

Check your C: drive to see if the folder $Windows.~BT exists:

Windows10 Folder

Inside this folder are all the installation files for Windows 10.  How did they get there?  Microsoft put them there when you weren’t looking, so that when you decided to upgrade you won’t have to wait for the 5.52GB to download.  Isn’t that nice of them?

Funny, I don’t think Microsoft execs would appreciate my dumping 50 tons of gravel in their driveway in anticipation of their converting their lawns to xeriscape.  I certainly don’t appreciate them dumping their large tracking OS on my computer without my asking for it.

OK ok.  Gravel would be a big cleanup effort.  I can just delete this folder, right?

Yes, but it’s not THAT easy.   I tried deleting the folder, but I couldn’t do it, even in administrator mode.  I finally found instructions from Microsoft themselves, placed on their support website for the case when you successfully install Windows 10 – yes even if you install it, you’ve got 5.5GB of extra bloat you cannot delete.  Here’s how:

1) Run cmd.exe as administrator:

  1. Enter “cmd” in the search menu off of the Start button
  2. Right-click on cmd.exe that it found
  3. Select Run as administrator

cmd - run as administrator

2) Type in these lines, one at a time, verbatim:

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

The first 2 lines condition the files so that they can be deleted.  The third line deletes the files.

Poof!  Your Windows 10 installation folder is finally gone.  Sheesh, that was a lot of work.

Warning

If you have KB3035583 installed on your system, it will just keep coming back.  To get rid of this particular windows patch, follow my instructions to remove the other Windows 10 tracking updates.

IMPORTANT: Don’t forget to reboot and check that the patches aren’t scheduled to return!!!  To prevent reinstallation of patches you don’t need, you have to hide them.  Instructions are in the same post.

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