How to Delete Backup Files in Windows 10 When Backup Disk Full?

December 9, 2019

Windows 10 backup disk may get full after saving multiple versions of backups. Learn to manually or automatically delete all kinds of backup files.

Why should you care if backup disk is full?

Windows 10 includes features that allow you to backup system image backup and save previous versions of your files regularly. Those features are very useful because your files and system are protected with backups.

If backup disk is full, then no backups can be created, leaving your files and system at risk. Therefore, it is important to well manage backups in Windows 10.

How to free up space on backup disk?

As mentioned, Windows 10 has many backup features to protect your system and files. You may have enabled system protection to create system restore points, set up automatic image backup task with Backup and Restore (Windows 7), or backup your files using File History.

If you want a better way to delete backup files in Windows 10, please use the backup software.

How to Delete Windows image backup in Windows 10?

To delete Windows image backup, use the following steps:

1. Click Start and then select Settings > Update & Security > Backup > Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7) to open the old image backup tool.

2. Click on Manage Space.

Delete Image Backups

3. In the next screen, click View backups to select any of the image backup files to delete.

After deleting some of the previous image backups, you can also change how Windows manage the previous image backups. Click on Change Settings, and then you have two choices:

  • Let Windows manage the space used for backup history

  • Keep only the latest system image and minimize space used by backup.

The first 1 is the default option. If your backup disk always gets full, you can change to the second option to only save one system backup in Windows 10.

How do I delete system restore points?

Windows 10 System Restore Points allow you to undo unwanted system changes and restore protected files to the previous version. If you think this is taking too much space. You can delete all or some of the system restore points.

To delete all restore points:

1. Search “system protection” and select the result “Create a restore point”.

2. Click Configure…

3. Click Delete and confirm the option to delete all of the restore points on this drive.

Delete All Restore Points

To delete all but the most recent restore point (Recommended):

1. Right click on C: drive and select Properties and Disk Cleanup. If you want to delete restore points on other drives, just right click on another drive and do the same.

2. Click Clean up system files and wait for the calculating.

3. Click More Options tab, and click Clean up… under System Restore and Shadow Copies.

Delete All But Recent

4. In a pop-up confirmation window, click Delete to delete all but the most recent restore point.

How to cleanup File History?

By default, Windows 10 File History will save all versions forever, so eventually, your Windows 10 backup disk will full. You can easily change that setting to automatically delete old versions. Before you trying to delete File History backup versions, you need to make sure the backup drive is connected and File History turned on. Otherwise, you are not allowed to delete File History backups.

To cleanup file history, use the steps below:

1. Open File History from Control panel. Then click on the Advanced settings.

File History Advanced Settings

2. In the next screen, you will have the option to change how long the saved versions are stored. You can change Keep saved versions for 3 months or so. You can click the link Clean up versions to delete versions right now.

File History Cleanup

All those three Windows backup features are supposed to free up disk space when needed. By theory, you should never run out of disk space on backup disk. However, you still may end up backup disk full in Windows 10. In that case, you may want to choose another backup program with a more flexible way of managing backup disk space.

How to delete backup files in Windows 10 with backup software?

If you are looking for Windows Backup and Restore software, then AOMEI Backupper Professional edition is recommended. It provides scheduled incremental and differential backup and 5 different backups schemes to automatically delete previous backups files, so your backup disk will never run out of space.


To delete backup files in Windows 10, you can choose a backup type at first, then select a schdule backup and backup scheme, click Start Backup at last. After that, when the backup amount reaches the number you set, it will delete backup files automatically.

Backup types:

Based on what you want to include in the backup, you can perform system backup, disk backup, partition backup, files and folders backup. And all of the backup types support schedule backup and backup scheme.

File Backup

Backup Schedule:

When choosing schedule triggers, you can have the backup to run at a specific time daily/weekly/monthly or upon an event. If you want the backup to run when no user is logged on, you need to choose the option runing scheduled backup using Task Scheduler under the Advanced tab.

Schedule Settings

Backup Scheme:

After configuring a scheduled backup, you can enable Disk Space Management to automatically free up backup disk space while keeping remaining backup images recoverable. Based on how you set up the scheduled backup, choose the suitable backup scheme to free up disk space.

Enable Scheme Backup

Tips:

  • Unlike file-level backup, AOMEI Backupper is able to backup files that are currently in use.

  • It is recommended to use the listed backup schemes to automatically delete obsolete backups. If you intend to delete backups manually, you can do it with File Explorer.

  • As you may know, incremental backup is based on the previous backup. If you delete an incremental backup, the incremental backups after the one deleted are useless. Therefore, you should create a full backup before deleting incremental backups. Unlike incremental backup, differential backup is based on the last full backup. You can delete any differential backup. as long as the full backup is intact, your differential backups are valid.

  • If you get confused, just use the built-in backup schemes and it will take care of your backups and disk space, so you will not worry about Windows 10 backup disk full. Besides these features, AOMEI Backupper also provides File Sync and Disk Clone feature to protect your data.

If you want to protect unlimited computers within your company, you can pick AOMEI Backupper Technician. With the inbuilt AOMEI Image Deploy tool, you are also allowed to deploy/restore system image file on server-side computer to multiple client-side computers over network.