By Ivy / Last update May 18, 2022

Windows 7 Backup Is Not Managing Space Correctly

"I have a 323GB partition set aside for Windows 7 Backup. I got a popup alert that Windows 7 Backup was out of space.  I opened Manage Windows Backup disk space and it said:

  • Data file backup: 190.33 GB
  • System image: 130.91 GB
  • Other Files: 2.39 GB
  • Free sapce: 2.33 MB
  • Total size: 323.63 GB

I clicked on Change settings and checked the Let Windows manage the space used for backup history (maximum 97.09 GB) option. Since there isn't any documentation availab on how Windows Backup manages space, I am guessing that the backup history referred to is for System images, now it occupies 130.91 GB, seems the maximum size was ignored. I wander if there is a way to delete backup files automatically?"

Check Backup Disk Space

In fact, if you created a system image on regular basis with the Windows 7 Backup and Restore software, this backup software will automatically manage backup disk space for you.

It stores the system images files in the shadow copy storage area on the backup disk and when the shadow copy area (the maximum of 30% of the backup disk storage) filled up the system images, it will delete the oldest backups to store the lastest backups.

However, if you keep creating one time backup jobs, the old backups will not get deleted automatically, so you will get the backup disk full error. Don't worry about it much and I'll introduces you how to manage backup disk full issue in the next part. 

Manage Space Correctly When Windows 7 Backup Disk Full

If you receive the Windows 7 backup disk full issue, try the following ways. You can delete backup images using Backup and Restore or Disk Cleanup feature. 

Way 1: Manage Backup Disk Space Manually through Error Message Window

If you get the above error message, just click it to manage backup disk space. And it will bring you to the Manage Windows Backup Disk Space window.

Manage Disk Space

But if you shutdown this window, you can go to Backup and Restore window. Then, click Manage Space under the Backup setion, it will navigate you to Manage Windows Backup Disk Space as well.

Manage Space

 To delete old backups, you could do the following:

#1: Through Data file backup section. Click View backups... under the Data file backup section, choose the backup file > Delete to mannually delete backup files.

Delete Data File Backup

#2: Through System image section. Click Change settings... under the System image section, Tick Retain only the most recent system image created on ..., and click OK.

Delete System Images

Way 2. Delete Backup Files with Disk Cleanup

1. Type disk cleanup in Windows 7 search box, and hit Enter.

2. Choose the backup drive, and hit OK.

3. Then, in the Disk Cleanup window, tick the recycle bin, downloaded program files, temporary internet files, etc. Then, check Clean up system files button, choose the drive you want to clean up and click OK.

4. To free up more disk space, switch to More Options, click Clean up...  under the System Restore and Shadow Copies section and click OK to confirm the operation.

Disk Cleanup Delete Shadow Copies

5. Finally, press Delete to delete all the old shadow copies except for the latest one.

However, every time you get the Windows 7 backup disk full error, you have to manually delete old backup images to free up space, is there any automatic way to avoid Windows backup disk full error?

Prevent Windows 7 Backup Disk Full at the Beginning

As mentioned above, you will receive backup disk full error message if you create a one time backup, thus the best way to create a system image automatically and preset rules for deleting backup files. And you can only choose to include a system image while backing up files if you use built-in backup software - Backup and Restore. Because Microsoft does not offer schedule backup for the operating system. 

Thus, you need to use a third-party backup software, AOMEI Backupper Professional, for example, which has the ability to backup system and delete backup files automatically. With it, you can do more than you think:

You are able to set a daily, weekly, monthly scheduled task, based on event triggers (eg: system shutdown) or use USB plug in feature. 
You can preset By quality, By time or By daily/weekly/monthly automatic backup cleanup to delete old backups automatically.
You can further reduce backup size and disk space usage with incremental or differential backup, normal or high compression level, automatic or customized splitting, intelligent sector backup, etc. It also help you prevent Windows 7 backup out of space to some extent. 
You are capable of restoring system image to new hard drive or SSD, even to smaller one. 
You could restore system image to new computer with different hardware. Its Universal Restore feature will resolve driver incompatible or other issues after restoring. 

Thanks to its intuitive interface, all the users can use it easily. Please download it to have a try now!  

Download Free TrailWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

(PS: This free trail version only works witin 30 days, if you are more concerned about data security and continuous protection, please upgrade pro trail to the official. This page now offers a 20% discount.)

Here we will take create a system image in Windows 10 for example, please follow the detailed steps below. 

Step 1. Perform AOMEI Backupper Professional, Select System Backup under Backup tab. 

System Backup

Step 2. Rename the Task Name and choose a destination disk to save the Windows 10 system image file. If you want to backup Windows 7 to external hard drive, please connect it in advance.

Select Backup Destination

Step 3. Set schedule automatic backup system and backup retentions for a scheduled task.

To backup system automatically, choose Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event triggers, or USB plug in feature in the Schedule Backup. 

Schedule Backup

To delete old backup regularly, choose By quality, By time, By daily/weekly/monthly automatic backup cleanup in the Backup Scheme. 

By Quantity

To further alleviate Windows 7 backup out of space, you can still use incremental or differential backup in the Backup Scheme as well as normal or high compression level, automatic or customized splitting, intelligent sector backup, etc in the Options.

Step 5. Press Start Backup >> button to create a Windows 10 system backup on regular basis, and mange backup disk space automatically in Windows 11/10/8/7. 

Start Backup

Tip:
 You still can click  Options to comment on the system backup task, encrypt the backup image, enable email notification, use VSS, etc

The Epilogue

This article introduces you to the reasons and solutions of Windows 7 backup disk full error. But it is really annoying to delete backup files manually every time when backup disk is full. Thus, it's suggested to backup system in Windows 7 automatically and preset backup retention policy. 

If you would like to manage backups for all clients within LAN from one central console, please try AOMEI Centralized Backupper. To deploy system image to multiple computers simultaneously, try image deployment software in the AOMEI Backupper Technician. And you could preset computer name, IP address and enable universal restore to ensure secure boot and network connection after restoration.