What Are the $INPLACE.~TR and $WINDOWS.~Q Folders?
So you’ve upgraded from Vista to Windows 7 and you’re wondering what those new hidden folders are doing in the root of your system drive, wasting 1+ GB of space. They are system protected, so should you really delete them?
So What Are They?
These two folders are leftover folders created by Windows during the upgrade process, but unfortunately they don’t get deleted at the end of the setup process. You’ll only see them if you’ve got the option to show hidden files enabled under Organize –> Folder and Search Options.
The good news is that you can definitely get rid of them.
Use Disk Cleanup
The easiest way to remove them is to just run Disk Cleanup (type it into the start menu search box), and then click the button to “Clean up system files”, which will re-launch Disk Cleanup as administrator.
Now that you’ve done that, find the option for “Files discarded by Windows upgrade” and make sure it’s checked, then click the OK button. We’d recommend using Disk Cleanup on a regular basis, of course, and checking most of the rest of the boxes.
Once you’re done, it’ll clean up the files.