Can you delete file history folder automatically?
“I’ve set up File History in Windows 10 to delete backups older than one month, but the automatic cleanup is not working: the backup drive contain files a few months ago. How do I clean up my Windows backup files? Any kindly advice will be appreciated. Thanks in advance.”
Overview of File History Cleanup
Before saying file history cleanup, you need to get something about File History. It’s a free file backup software in Windows 8 and later versions. You can use it to protect your personal files on a schedule. However, Over time, you will have a complete history of backup files, and your backup drive may run out of space sooner or later.
File History cleanup is used to solve this kind of problem. You have 7 options to delete older versions of files and folders, including older than 1 month, older than 3 months, older than 6 options, older than 9 options, older than 1 year(default), older than 2 years, all but the latest one. In addition, you can also use FhManagew.exe command and it can achieve the same effect as File History Cleanup.
Use File History Cleanup from control panel to delete file history folder
File history cleanup is one of the most useful way, but some users report that it could not clean up file history data. So, in this case, you’d better delete manually.
To delete file history data manually, use the following steps:
1. Plug in your backup drive and make sure it can be detected.
2. Go to File History and check if it’s on. Open “Control Panel”, click “File History” icon, then you can see “File History is on” if your backup drive is recognized. If not, file history folder is locked and you cannot delete the backups.
3. Click on “Advanced settings” link on the left side column.
4. At the lower right corner of Advanced settings, click Clean up versions.
5. Delete file history folder. In File History Cleanup window, select older than 1 month or 3 months and click “Clean up”. After that, you just need to wait until the deletion process ends.
Use FhManagew.exe to clean up file history data
Besides file history cleanup, FhManagew.exe is also a great choice to delete older versions of files and folders. You can give it a try.
1. Open command prompt. Press “Win+R” to open the Run window, then type “cmd” and hit “OK”.
2. Then, copy and paste the following command and hit Enter. Here I’ll take the criteria “Older than 1 month“ as an example and show you the right command.
If you want to delete other version of files and folders, you just need to replace 30 with corresponding number. In this command, every month is 30 days. That’s to say, if you want to delete backup files older than 3 month, you can replace 30 with 90. But there is an exception,the number in the criteria "All but the latest one" is 0.
FhManagew.exe -cleanup 30
FhManagew.exe -cleanup 30 -quiet
3. Click “OK” to exit.
How to avoid backup disk full?
To avoid backup disk full, the only way is to delete backup files frequently. Based on this idea, in the following, I’ll introduce you how to change the retention time of backup files and use a professional backup software to delete backup files.
Method 1: Change file history settings
To avoid having the same problem in the future, it is recommended to improve your File History settings. You should change “Keep my backups” to lower time interval, such as, 1 month or 3 months .
Go to File History settings, click More options under Automatically back up my files On. By default, the time to keep saved versions is Forever, you can choose “Until space is needed”, “Older than 1 month”, or “Older than 3 months”.
Method 2: Auto delete old backup images via professional backup software
Whether using file history cleanup or its command line, you need to manually delete backup files. It’s annoy. If you want an easier way, you could consider using a professional backup software for Windows 10, 8,7, like AOEMI Backupper Professional.
With AOMEI Backupper Professional, you can backup files, system, disk and partition easily and quickly. Also, you can delete old backups with “backup scheme” feature as expected. The premise is to create a schedule backup with it.
Just download and install AOMEI Backupper Professional. Then, you can see the main page in the following. Here are 5 backup types, including “File Backup”, “System Backup”, “Disk Backup”, “ Partition Backup”, “File Sync”. To backup files, just click “File Backup”.
To delete older versions of files and folders, “Backup Scheme” is the most important feature you will use. You just need to select a backup scheme and set the number to retain backups. Then, when it exceeds the number of versions, the older backup image will be deleted automatically.
• Except for “Backup Scheme” feature, this software still offer you other amazing features, such as, daily backup, event-trigger backup, incremental or differential backup, etc.
• AOMEI Backupper is also a reliable restore and system clone software. There are many other powerful features like restore system image to another computer with “Universal Restore” and migrate OS to SSD with “System Clone”.
Written in the end
Both File History Cleanup and FhManagew.exe can delete file history folder and free up disk space. But the automatic deletion does not run automatically sometimes.
If you want to delete old backup without human intervention, you could consider using AOMEI Backupper Professional. This software has a useful feature called “Backup Scheme”, which can automatically delete backup files by a specific role.
Besides deleting file backup, this software also allows you to delete system backup, disk space and partition backup as long as you create a backup with “Backup Scheme”.