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

After some time, the computer’s rising backup files and data can consume more and more disk space. Furthermore, after updating to Windows 10, the previous version’s files will be saved. It will take up a lot of space. If the disk used to save backup files fills up, it would be challenging to build backup data. 

It becomes inconvenient for managing data and operating systems. As a result, the backup files must be cleaned up. Furthermore, freeing up a lot of space will help the operating system run more smoothly.

There are multiple possible reasons why you would want to set up backups in Windows 10. A backup will assist you in recovering your files and system with little or no data loss if anything goes wrong. Unfortunately, this comes with a cost. These files will fill up your hard drive on smaller drives. 

Windows can fill up your hard drive with unnecessary backup files. It includes older Windows update files, which you can uninstall when needed. What you need to know is “How to delete backup files in Windows 10.” 

Learn “how to delete backup files in Windows 10” by deleting backup data. And also deleting file history backup and deleting unnecessary device restore points. Also, deleting the Windows old and $Windows.BT folders. And more.

Methods: How To Delete Backup Files In Windows 10?

Let’s get started with this space-saving disk guide. It explains how to delete backup files in Windows 10. It has a function that backs up files to a different storage volume periodically.

The Backup and Restore function lets you avoid losing important files. But it has a drawback. The size of the backed-up files keeps increasing.

1. Deleting Windows 10 Backups

You can search for and remove backup files regularly to save disk space. Delete the backups you don’t need using the instructions below.

  • To begin, press the Start button and then type backup. The Backup settings program should appear. Open Backup settings. You can also choose the control panel path.
press the Start button and then type backup. The Backup settings program should appear. Open Backup settings.
  • To open the Backup and Restore (Windows 7) program, click the “Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7)” connection while in the Backup settings.
click the "Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7)" connection while in the Backup settings.
  • Your backup drive will be visible in the Backup and Restore window. Select the Manage disk space option as shown below.
  • You’ll find two ways to monitor your backup drive in the Manage Windows Backup disk  space window: “manage space” and “Change settings.”
Select "manage space." This button allows you to pick and delete a backup.
  • Select “manage space.” This button allows you to pick and delete a backup.
  • Click on the view backups to select and delete individual backup files.
Click on the view backups to select and delete individual backup files.
  • Choose a Backup from the menu that corresponds to a time you are comfortable removing.
Choose a Backup from the menu that corresponds to a time you are comfortable removing.
  • To delete the contents of the backup files, click Delete as shown.
  • Click on the reverse tab to return to the main Manage Windows Backup disk space window.
  • Select the option to keep only the most recent device image and manage windows backup disk space used. When this option is activated, all previous windows installation saved backups are automatically deleted. It leaves only the most recent backups.
  • To continue with the choice you’ve chosen, click OK.

2. Removing System Restore Points

Backing up the files in older Windows versions was an all-or-nothing proposition, at least when it came to built-in features. The System Restore function, which saves a snapshot of your current Windows installation and files. It was one of the first backup features.

In Windows 10, this function is still available and is used to generate the restore points for major device updates. It can eat up valuable disk space if it’s allowed, and too many restore points are created. Removing some of these restore points will help you free up some space on your hard drive for other files.

Even though providing a device restore point is beneficial, storing many restore points would consume disk space. Follow the steps below to delete the restore points to ensure they don’t go too far.

  • To delete System Restore points, open the Run window with the Windows + R keys on your keyboard, type “system protection tab,” and press enter.
open the Run window with the Windows + R keys on your keyboard, type "system protection tab," and press enter.
  • The System Properties window will appear. Click the Configure button on the System Protection tab.
Click the Configure button on the System Protection tab.
  • Click the Delete button in the System Protection tab. Any System Restore points that have been saved will be deleted. By adjusting the Max Use slider, you can alter how much disk space this function consumes.
Click the Delete button in the System Protection tab. Any System Restore points that have been saved will be deleted.
  • Although disabling this feature and restoring all of the System Protection reserved space for general use is not advisable. You can do so by pressing the Disable system protection tab. When you’re done, press OK to save your settings.
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Learn more about “how to delete backup files in windows 10” in the proceeding article.

3. Deleting File History

Another built-in feature of Windows 10 is Windows File History, which allows you to back up your files automatically. File History, unlike Backup, only saves files from the Documents, Videos, Music, Pictures, and Desktop folders to a separate or external drive.

Go through the given steps to get rid of unnecessary files and learn  “how to delete backup files in Windows 10.”

  • To open the Windows Settings window, right-click on the Windows Start button and select Settings.
To open the Windows Settings window, right-click on the Windows Start button and select Settings.
  • Scroll down and select Update & Security from the drop-down menu.
Scroll down and select Update & Security from the drop-down menu.
  • Go to Backup and choose it.
  • If you’re still using Windows File History, choose More options to access the Backup Options window.
choose More options to access the Backup Options window.
  • You’ll probably notice “See advanced settings” in the Backup options window. Click on it. 
  • Now click on the advanced settings option. You will see “Keep saved versions,” open it. Adjust the Keep my backups choice to 1 month or whatever period you prefer to free up space on your drive, as shown below.
click on the advanced settings option. You will see "Keep saved versions," open it.
  • Both Windows Backup and File History use an external or separate disk. It’s now time to free up some space on your local drive.

4. Using Command Prompt

Users can use a command-line tool called “fhmanagew.exe” cleanup to delete older versions of file history backups. FhManagew.exe clean-up versions from the currently allocated File History target device are older than a given period.

For example, open a Command Prompt window and type: FhManagew.Exe-cleanup 45 to delete all file history backup versions older than 45 days.

open a Command Prompt window

The -quiet parameter in the command-line tool disables the output message(s) and the dialogue shown above. You’d use the following to clean up quietly:

FhManageW.exe also supports the following undocumented switches in addition to the above -cleanup switch.

Manually run a File History backup on request.

FhManageW -backupnow

Stop the latest File History and backup 

FhManageW -stop

Open the File History settings page. 

FhManageW -autoplay

Verify the drive allocated as the File History backup drive: 

FhManageW -checktarget

5. Removing Cached Updates

Windows 10 can download and install new updates automatically when Microsoft launches them. As Windows 10 downloads and installs updates, it saves the update files in a cache so that you can uninstall them later if necessary. The only drawback is that the files continue to accumulate, consuming storage space.

  1. Stopping Update Service

Follow the proceeding steps to stop the Windows Update Service

  • Type services.msc into the Windows start menu. The Services window should appear after that.
Type services.msc into the Windows start menu. The Services window should appear after that.
  • Right-click Windows Updates in the Services window and pick Stop. To re-enable the Windows Update service later, keep the Services window open.
Right-click Windows Updates in the Services window and pick Stop. To re-enable the Windows Update service later, keep the Services window open.
  • Alternatively, another method to stop windows 10 update is to open Powershell and run the following command: 
Get-Service -Name 'wuauserv' | Stop-Service
  1. Deleting Backup Files Using Powershell

With PowerShell, delete backup files in Windows 10.  You can also delete the cached updates with a single script that runs all at once.

Create a PowerShell script, paste the code below into it, or open Windows PowerShell as Administrator and paste the given code into the console.

  • Stops the Windows Update Service from running.
    • Stop-Service -Name ‘wuauserv.’ 
  • The Windows Cached Update location is the target.
    • $env:windir\SoftwareDistribution\Download
  • Anything in the *Download* folder is deleted.
    • Deletes everything inside the *Download* folder *
      • Force
    • Includes files in sub-directories
      • Recurse 
    • Suppresses prompts
      • Confirm:$false
    • Remove files 
      • Recurse -Force -Confirm:$false
  • The Windows Update Service has started.
    • Start-Service -Name ‘wuauserv.’
  1. GUI to delete Cached Updates

After you’ve stopped the Windows Update program, you can start deleting files and directories.

  • Navigate to the \:C drive ⇒Windows⇒SoftwareDistribution⇒Download folder.
  • By pressing Ctrl+A, you can choose all of the files and directories.
  • After you’ve picked everything, click the Delete key to clear the cached notifications.
  • Instead of transferring the files to the Recycle Bin. Use the Shift+Delete keys to delete them permanently.
Use the Shift+Delete keys to delete them permanently.
  • Return to the Services window after deleting the cached updates, right-click the Windows Update service, and select Start.

6. Windows 10 upgrade, How To delete the Windows.old folder

If you updated to Windows 10 from Windows 7, you might have a folder called Windows.old on your screen. When you update to Windows 10, this folder serves as a backup of your Windows 7 installation.

You have three options for cleaning up the Windows.old folder, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

  1. By Using the Storage Sense Settings

Here are some of the features of Storage Sense that set it apart from other ways to clean up your Windows 10 setup.

  1. If files have been in the Recycle Bin for more than the time specified in the Storage Sense settings, they are removed.
  2. Removes temporary files from your computer that are no longer in use. Cloud-based content that hasn’t been opened in a certain number of days is dehydrated.
  3. Storage Sense is helpful for a variety of items, like removing old versions of your Windows system. Here’s how.
  4. If a file in the Downloads folder hasn’t been opened in a certain number of days, it will be deleted.

Using a Windows 10 function called Storage Sense, you can delete old Windows models. Storage Sense is a feature in Windows 10 that tracks storage and automatically frees up space. 

To uninstall a Windows.old folder using Storage Sense, follow these steps:

  • Click the Start button. Type storage in the search option. Now, select Storage Settings.
  • After you’ve set up the Storage settings, choose the “Configure Storage Sense or Run It Now” option.
choose the "Configure Storage Sense or Run It Now" option.
  • Scroll down to the Delete previous Windows option in the Configure Storage Sense panel.
  • Click – Clean Now option. 
Click- Clean Now option.
  1. Disk Cleanup Tool
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Another method for removing the Windows.old folder and an old version The Disk Cleanup tool can be used. Disk Cleanup is a Windows legacy utility. Windows 98 was the first to have it. You may argue that the Disk Cleanup tool in Windows 10 is an older version of Storage Sense.

To clean up the Windows.old folder with the Disk Cleanup program, follow these steps:

  • Select Disk Cleanup from the Windows starts menu by typing “disk cleanup” in the search box.
  • Choose the disk space you want to clean up from the tiny pop-up window that appears and click OK. 
  • Choose C: since you’ll be using the Disk Cleanup tool to delete the windows.old folder.
Choose C: since you'll be using the Disk Cleanup tool to delete the windows.old folder.
  • To include system files in the list of files and directories, you can remove, press the “Clean up system files” button within the Disk Cleanup window.
To include system files in the list of files and directories, you can remove, press the "Clean up system files" button within the Disk Cleanup window.
  • The system files like the old Windows file version shown with the Previous Windows installation would then appear in a list.
  • To add previous Windows installation(s) to the list of files to uninstall from the device, check the box and select OK.
To add previous Windows installation(s) to the list of files to uninstall from the device, check the box and select OK.
  • Depending on the amount of disk space to be cleared, cleaning the drive can take some time. After you’ve finished sweeping, you’re ready to go!
  1. Temporary Files Configuration To Delete Files

A function that can be used to remove a variety of unnecessary files. Temporary Files is a valuable function in Windows 10 concealed under the Storage section of the Settings menu.

  • Return to the Storage settings window. Select Temporary files from the drop-down menu.
Return to the Storage settings window. Select Temporary files from the drop-down menu.
  • Select the Previous Windows installation(s) option in the Temporary files window. The entire old Windows edition is included in this collection.
  • Click the Remove files button to delete all of the temporary files that have been reviewed.
  • If you don’t see the Previous Windows installation(s) option, it means your system doesn’t have any older Windows versions.

7. Deleting The $Windows.~Bt And $Windows.~Ws Folders

When you update Windows to Windows 10, it generates a $Windows.BT and a $Windows.WS folder, similar to the Windows.old folder from the previous section. These directories hold a backup of your Windows setup. It allows you to return to an earlier version of Windows.

Within ten days of updating, you will revert to the previous Windows edition when the rollback period is over. Both the $Windows.BT and $Windows.WS files are immediately removed.

The WS files are system folders, which means they belong to the system rather than the user. To delete the folders, you must first take possession of them.

  1. Deleting the System Folders Using PowerShell

You can uninstall the $Windows.BT and $Windows.WS files in a variety of ways that you can find on the internet. Using PowerShell as an administrator is the most potent way to delete these system files.

Open Windows PowerShell as administrator and paste the following code into the console. It will uninstall the $Windows.BT Folder and other system files. This code can also be used to generate a PowerShell script.

##acquires control of the folder
## */F - defines a pattern for filenames or directories
## /R - recurse: tells the tool to work on all files in the current directory and its subdirectories
## /A - instead of the current user, the administrators' party takes responsibility
* takeown /F C:'$Windows.BT*' /R /A
## Allows the Administrator account to make changes to the folder with complete power
## */T - This operation is performed on all matching files/directories below the directories mentioned in the name
## /grant - grants access rights to the designated person
icacls C:\'$Windows.~BT\*.*' /T /grant administrators:F
## Removes the device folder from the machine.
## *-Force - Causes read-only files to be deleted.
## -Recurse - files in subdirectories are used.
## -Confirm:$false - (quiet mode) prevents prompts from appearing.
Remove-Item C:'$Windows.BT' -Recurse -Force  -confirm:$False

Why Should You Care If The Backup Disk Is Full?

Windows 10 has options that enable you to frequently backup to keep only the latest system image and save the previous version of your file. These features are highly beneficial because backups secure your data and framework.

The File History, Backup, and Restore features of the Windows operating system assist you periodically. It keeps the records and system to protect your computer from data loss, computer failure, and other threats.

However, data backup files in Windows 10 include app data and continue to expand. After a while, you’ll notice that they’ll take up as much room as they possibly can. No backups can be made if the backup disk is complete. It puts the backup files in windows and devices at risk.

You’ll need to take a few minutes to delete backup files or app backup files to free up the disk space on your hard drive. You can keep creating new backups after getting free space. They’re typically reserved on a USB drive or an external hard drive.

If your backup disk is complete, you won’t be able to make backups, putting your data and system at risk. As a result, it’s essential to handle backups in Windows 10 properly.

With Backup Software, How To Delete Backup Files In Windows 10?

AOMEI Backupper Professional edition is recommended if you need Windows backup and restore tools. It offers scheduled incremental and differential backups. It also provides five different backup schemes that delete backup files automatically. It ensures that your windows backup disk space never runs out.

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To delete backup files in Windows 10, first, pick a backup form, then schedule backup and backup scheme, and finally click Start Backup. After that, when the backup sum exceeds the limit you set, the backup files will be automatically deleted.

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Types of Backups

Device backup, disk backup, partition backup, and files and directories backup are all options depending on what you want to backup. Additionally, plan backup and backup schemes are supported by all backup forms.

Backup Schemes

You can allow windows backup Disk Space Management after configuring a scheduled backup to free up backup disk space while keeping remaining backup images recoverable. Choose the appropriate backup scheme to free up disk space based on how you set up the scheduled backup.

Backup Timetable

You may make the backup run at a set time daily/weekly/monthly, or upon an occurrence, while selecting schedule triggers. If you want the backup to run while no one is logged in, go to the Advanced tab and select the option to run a scheduled backup using Task Scheduler.

How Do I delete Backup Files From My Mac’s Hard Drive?

Time Machine, Apple’s built-in backup software for Macs running macOS Big Sur, makes backing up all of your essential data extremely simple. You can recover your computer if anything goes wrong. You can also restore deleted files if you lose them by mistake.

Time Machine on Apple laptops, such as the MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro, provides the option of making local snapshots. It means that even if you detach your MacBook from its external hard drive, you’ll still have backups saved on your internal hard drive. It allows you to restore data if necessary.

When you need to restore data but don’t have access to your backup hard drive, local snapshots come in handy. They also begin to take up measurable space on your hard drive over time. Continue reading to learn how to free up space on your Mac.

  1. Delete backups using Finder
  • The Finder can be accessed from the Dock or the top menu bar.
  • Wait for your external hard drive to appear in the Devices section of the left sidebar after connecting it.
  • Go to the drive’s “Backups.backupdb” folder, then to the subfolder labeled with your Mac’s name.
  • A list of subfolders will appear, ordered by date. By right-clicking and choosing “Transfer to Trash,” you can delete the folder associated with the Time Machine backup you want to get rid of.
  • By right-clicking the trash icon in your Dock and choosing “Empty Trash,” you can empty your trash.
  1. Delete backups using Time Machine
  • Connect your device to your external hard drive.
  • Check for it using Spotlight, the magnifying glass in the top right corner of your phone, or click on the “Time Machine” in the top menu bar. It looks like a clock with an arrow running around the outside.
  • Find the backup you want to remove, then pick “Delete Backup” from the gear icon.
  • Accept the confirmation query and commands, then confirm your preference by entering your password.

Conclusion 

Through this “how to delete backup files in windows 10” you should be able to know how to delete any unused backup files directly from Windows. There are other more effective ways to know “how to delete backup files in windows 10”. For example, you might search for larger files and delete them to make room for other files and applications.

If it does not work, you will need to consider uninstalling Windows 10 software. It will free up space for other important files, such as your Windows 10 backup files. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it permissible to remove image backups files?

Data backup files grow and grow, and if you don’t prune them back, they’ll take up as much space as they possibly can. Fortunately, removing old backups isn’t as difficult as it might seem. The Backup and Restore Center provides several tools that make image backup management surprisingly simple.

Is it possible to remove files after they’ve been backed up?

The initial file has not been deleted from the source disk. After copying the files to the other hard drive, you may need to cut and paste or erase them. Additionally, deleting the file frees up space on the disk for new data, but the old data stays on the disk. Only the address to that file has vanished.

Will deleting an old backup result in the loss of all data?

It shouldn’t because backups don’t affect anything in the first place.  In reality, even deleting your current personal computer backup would not act on what’s on your computer. The details in your backup are just a  copy of what’s on your personal computer right now.

Is it safe to delete a Windows backup image?

They are deleted in the same way as any other folder or file in Windows. Within the Windows 7 Backup & Restore program, choose to create an image to create a new system image of your device. You can then remove the old backup image and generate a new one.

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