Delete Backup Files In Windows 10
There are lots of good reasons why you might want to set up a Windows 10 backup. A backup can help you restore your files and your system with little or no data loss when something goes wrong. Unfortunately, the downside is the loss of space – these files can fill up your hard drive, especially on smaller drives.
While we always recommend that you maintain automatic system backups, Windows will fill your drive with unnecessary backup files that you can delete from time to time, including older Windows update files. If you want to know how to delete backup files in Windows 10, here’s what you need to do.
Delete Windows File History
Windows 10 offers a much better system for regular file backups than older versions of Windows, thanks to the built-in file backup system. Using Windows File History, copies of files in certain critical folders are stored regularly, from every 10 minutes to once a day, with copies stored indefinitely.
Over time, that can mean a huge increase in used storage space. If you want to know how to delete backup files in Windows 10, deleting your Windows File History backup should be the first task on your list.
- To get started, you’ll need to open the Windows Settings menu – right-click the Windows Start menu and hit Settings. From here, hit Update & Security> Backup . If you’re already using Windows File History, press the More Options button.
- In Backup options, you can change how often files are backed up and how often they are saved before they are deleted. Change this under the drop-down menus Back up my files and Save my backup. By default, the option Keep my backups is set to Forever — changing this to delete backups every month, or when space is needed, increases the available disk space.
- You can also disable Windows File History completely by pressing the Stop using this drive option in the Backup options menu. This will erase your current Windows file backup drive, thus disabling this feature completely.
- If you want to immediately delete all the saved backup files, save by File History, you have to right-click the Windows Start menu and press the Windows PowerShell (Admin) option.
- In the PowerShell window that appears, type fhmanagew.exe -cleanup 0 to delete everything but the most recent backup files, then hit enter to run the command. You can replace 0 with a different set of days to keep a longer backup period. If the command is successful, a pop-up window will appear to confirm.
Deleting Windows System Restore Points
Backing up files in older versions of Windows is an all-or-nothing affair – at least about the built-in features. One of the earliest backup features is the System Restore feature, which saves a snapshot of your current Windows installation and files.
This feature is still present in Windows 10 and is used to create rollback points for major system updates. If enabled and too many restore points are created, it can take up valuable disk space. Deleting some of these restore points can be a good way to clear some space for other files.
- To delete a System Restore point, press Windows key + R on your keyboard to open a Run window, type systemproprotect protection, and hit enter.
- This will open the System Properties window. In the System Protection tab, press the Configure button.
- In the System Protection Window, press the Delete button. This will erase all saved System Restore points. You can also change how much disk space this feature uses by moving the Max Usage slider.
- While that’s not recommended, you can also disable this feature and restore all the space that System Protection provides for general use by pressing the Disable system protection radio button. Hit OK to save your settings when you’re done.
Once disabled, any space previously reserved for System Restore points will be released for you to use elsewhere.
Deleting Windows. old Folder After Windows 10 Update
If you want to clear space after the big Windows 10 update, you’ll need to start by deleting the Windows. old folder. This folder is automatically created as a backup of your older Windows installation when the main Windows update occurs.
You don’t have to worry about deleting this folder in most cases – Windows will automatically delete it a month after the upgrade. However, if you want to remove them sooner to reclaim space faster, you can.
- To delete the Windows. old folder, you’ll need to run a powerful Disk Cleanup> tool. Press Windows key + R and type cleanmgr, then click OK to launch it.
- In the Disk Cleanup window, press the Clean system files option to see options for deleting system files.
- In the Files to delete list, make sure that the Previous windows installation check box is enabled. To save additional space, you can also activate other settings or folders at this point. Once you are ready, hit OK to start the wipe process.
This will delete the Windows. old folder, returning a few gigabytes of space in the process. You won’t be able to restore an older Windows installation once you do this, so make sure that any updates or new installations are working properly before you continue.
Wiping Disk Space with Windows 10
While you should be able to delete unnecessary backup files in Windows itself, there are other and better ways to make more space in Windows 10. You can, for example, find larger files and delete them to free up space for other applications and files.
If that doesn’t work, you may need to look into uninstalling Windows 10 software to make room for other important files – including your important Windows 10 backup files.
Mustafa Al Mahmud is the Founder and CEO of Gizmo Concept and also a professional Blogger, SEO Professional as well as Entrepreneur. He loves to travel and enjoy his free moment with family members and friends.