How to delete backup files in Windows 10

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In this article, we’ll show you how to delete backup files in Windows 10. The Windows operating system is developed in a way that users can set up backups for the files they have on their computers.

These backups are important when something goes wrong, as they can help restore the computer system and files without losing valuable data. What this means is that backups allow users to restore their computer to the last backup whenever there is a critical system problem.

The only downside of having these backup files is that they take up a lot of storage space. And if you have a small hard disk drive, it might make sense to delete them to free up some valuable space.

Our recommendation is to always back up your system automatically, but we understand that your storage space will be filled up with unnecessary backup files that you do not need, such as older backup files. If you would like to know how to delete backup files in your Windows, we’ll get into that throughout this article.

How to delete backup files in Windows 10

Delete Windows File History

Windows 10 comes with offers an improved built-in system for regular file backups than older Windows versions. With Windows File History, some copies of important folders are saved regularly based on varying time ranges such as every 10 minutes, once daily, etc.

When this is done over time, the folders accumulate, and the occupied storage space increases.

So, if you want to delete backup files in Windows 10, this is where you start from. First, delete your Windows File History. Follow the steps below to get started:

  • Open the Settings menu and click on “Backup”;

How to delete backup files in Windows 10

  • Click on “More options” to make changes to your backup frequency and how long to keep backup files;

How to delete backup files in Windows 10

  • Then click on “See advanced settings”;

How to delete backup files in Windows 10

  • Afterward, select “Advanced Settings”.

How to delete backup files in Windows 10

Now, there are two drop-down menus that allow you to change the frequency at which backup occurs and for how long they are saved. Choose according to your preference. In the image above, the frequency is set to “Every hour (default)”, and the duration is set to “Forever (default)”.

To manage your space more effectively, you can set “Keep saved versions” to monthly or when space is needed so that the backups will be deleted every month or whenever you are running out of space.

Remove Windows system restore points

The System Restore feature saves a snapshot of your current Windows installation and files and is used to create restore points when you carry out a major system update on your computer.

If you have turned on the system restore feature already, you’ll likely have too many restore points that will take up your storage memory. It makes sense to clear some of those restore points so you can save some space on your computer.

To remove system restore points, follow the steps below:

  • Press “Windows key + R” on your keyboard. This opens up the “Run” command prompt. Enter “systempropertiesprotection” into the text box and press the “Enter” key.

How to delete backup files in Windows 10

  • You will be taken to the System Properties Window. Navigate to the “System Protection” tab, and click “Configure”;

How to delete backup files in Windows 10

  • Clicking “Configure” will open up another window where you can turn on system protection, disable it, delete the restore points or set the maximum space usage for a particular disk drive;

How to delete backup files in Windows 10

  • Click “Delete” and all saved system restore points will be deleted. If you want to set how much space you want system restore points to occupy, you can use the slider to set the maximum storage usage.

While we do not recommend disabling the system restore point feature if you click on “Disable system protection”, all the reserved space for system protection will be made available for general storage.

Delete “Windows.old” folder after updating Windows 10

Updates are necessary when using a Windows 10 computer, and with every update, there is always the Windows.old folder left behind. This is the backup of your older Windows, which is automatically created when you carry out a major update.

Usually, nobody takes note of this folder because Windows automatically deletes it one month after the update. However, you can remove it immediately if you do not want to keep any backup files on your computer anymore.

  • Run Windows disk cleanup tool by pressing “Windows key + R” to launch the “Run” command prompt. Type “cleanmgr” into the text box and click “Ok” or press “Enter”;

How to delete backup files in Windows 10

  • Click on “Clean up system files” to view the available options to clear system files;
  • In “Files to delete”, make sure you have ticked all the necessary files and folders that you would like to delete. Then, click “Ok” to begin the process.

This might take some time, but once it is done, you will get some storage space freed up. Take note that after completing the process, you will not be able to restore the older Windows installation files. So, you should ensure your new updated Windows is working properly.

How to delete app backup files in Windows 10

Now, we will be looking at how to delete app backup files Windows 10. The process entails deleting old versions of the app backup since new versions already have their own backup files. Let’s take a look at the methods below.

Manually remove files 

  • Open the “Run” prompt by pressing the “Windows key + R”on your keyboard;
  • Enter%localappdata%” in the text box;

How to delete backup files in Windows 10

  • Click “Ok”. A new folder opens. Locate the “Temp” folder and open it;

How to delete backup files in Windows 10

  • Once the “Temp” folder opens, press “Ctrl + A” to select all the files in there;

How to delete backup files in Windows 10

  • Right-click on your keyboard and then “Delete”.

How to delete backup files in Windows 10

NOTE: Deleting all the files in the “Temp” folder is safe as they are all temporary files that you wont be needing. They don’t contain any important information, and deleting them will not make your apps misbehave.

Delete app backup files using Disk Cleanup

  • Press the “Windows key” and search for “Disk Cleanup” using the search box;

How to delete backup files in Windows 10

  • Click on “Open” on the right, and the app will start scanning your computer;
  • Select one after the other, all the folders and files you no longer want. Ensure you include the temporary files too. Click “Ok”.

How to delete backup files in Windows 10

Delete app backup files using File History

  • Open Control Panel from the Start menu by typing “Control Panel” in the search box;
  • Click on “File History”;

How to delete backup files in Windows 10

  • A new window opens up. On the left-side pane, click on “Advanced Settings”;

How to delete backup files in Windows 10

  • Click on “Clean Up” and then select how far back you want your computer to delete app backup files.

Wrap Up

While deleting backup files is mostly needed because of storage issues, we recommend that you look for other things you may be able to delete first, such as some larger files and folders you don’t need anymore.

This way, you are sure you are not tampering with any important stuff you might need later. If, however, you still want to delete those backup files, we hope the methods and steps above were helpful.