How To Delete Backup Files in Windows 10?

Windows 10 has a different file and settings backup method than other versions of Windows. There are various options designed to ensure you don’t lose any data in case an error occurs.

As you can imagine, this requires a fair amount of disk space, depending how much data you have.

It is possible that when you try to install something, your computer won’t have sufficient space. In this scenario, it’s a good idea to delete large backup files you don’t need anymore.

You don’t often need more than one image of the disk in order to restore settings or files.

4 Methods To Delete Backup Files In Windows 10

We will look at four different ways of deleting these files, while giving you total control of what is kept and what is removed.

Method #1: Manage Backup Space

manage backup space

This built-in system is useful for helping you manage how much space is allocated to backups. This is how to manage it:

  • Click Start then Settings and then Update & Security.
  • Click Backup.
  • Select Backup & Restore.
  • Click Manage Space to open the Manage Windows Backup Disk Space window.
  • Click View Backup.
  • Choose the period you want to delete backups from.

Method #2: Delete File History

delete file history

Windows 10 will save every file at specific intervals and never delete them, resulting in a lot of files you don’t even need taking up valuable storage. This is how to delete your file history:

  • Type Control Panel in the search bar and open it.
  • Under System & Security, click on Save Backup Copies of Your Files with File History.
  • Click Advanced Settings.
  • Choose how often you want to save file versions and how long they should be kept.
  • Choose ‘Until Space is Needed’ is recommended but you can select the one you want.
  • Click Save Changes.
  • You can access File History settings by clicking Windows then Settings then Backup.
  • Click More Options.
  • Select Stop Using Drive if you want to switch the function off altogether.
  • If you need space right away, right-click on Start and select Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  • The PowerShell window will open.
  • Type this: fhmanagew.exe -cleanup 0
  • That will delete everything except the newest backup.
  • The o is how many days you’d like to keep (so 30 would delete everything older than a month, 365 for more than a year etc)

Method #3: Delete Restore Points

delete restore points

Files aren’t the only data which can clog a drive. A restore point is a complete image of your computer and while they can be handy they can also be huge. It is worth deleting the old ones to free up space.

  • Open the Run app by pressing Windows and R.
  • Type this: systempropertiesprotection
  • Press Enter.
  • In the new window that opens navigate to System Protection.
  • Press Configure.
  • Press Delete to delete old restore points or move the slider to maximize data usage.
  • Press OK to save.

Method #4: Delete the Windows.old Folder

delete the windows old folder

Each time Windows 10 updates, the computer creates a folder called Windows.old where the old installation files are stored. If you’re sure you don’t want to go back a version then you can delete this folder to free up more room. This method might remove a few gigabytes of data from your computer.

  • Open the Run app  by pressing Windows and R.
  • Type this: cleanmgr
  • Press Enter.
  • In the new window that opens click Clean Up System Files.
  • Choose which files to delete.
  • After selecting the previous Windows installation press OK to delete.

In Conclusion

Windows 10 offers various ways to delete big files if you are running out of disk space, and it’s also really good at protecting you from any data loss. Knowing how to delete backup files in Windows 10 is well worth knowing, so you can free up more space whenever you need to.