Need help with Windows 10?

Tips, tricks and how-to guides for Windows 10

How to delete backup files in Windows 10

It's really easy to delete the old Windows 10 file backups and restore points to free up some disk space - it's just a few steps.
Windows 10 Help: How To Delete Backup Files

When you run out of space on your hard drive, you can delete backup files in Windows 10. Operating systems and applications now come with an abundance of features, including automatic backups. These can pile up quickly without you realizing they are using up all of your hard drive space! Of course, automatic backups are extremely useful, as there are plenty of ways in things can go wrong with electronics and applications. With backups, your most important information is safe. Even if you replace your system drive, you can recover the backed up files. If your backup files are taking up too much space, you can change a few settings to optimize how much space they are allowed to take.

Manage your backup files in Windows 10

In this article, you'll learn how to do the following.

  1. Delete backup files from Windows 10.
  2. Delete your Windows 10 restore points.
  3. Set how much space is reserved for Windows 10 restore points.

How to delete backup files in Windows 10

Microsoft always strives to make Windows 10 as user-friendly as possible. This is why making changes to the system settings is very straightforward. In this section, you will learn how to delete backup files in Windows 10 by following these simple steps.

  1. Type Control Panel in the Windows 10 search field next to the Start button.
  2. Click on the Control Panel app result - it should be the best match.
    How to get to Control Panel
    Enter Control Panel in the Windows 10 search field and click on the top result.
  3. In the Control Panel, click on the System and Security icon (not on any of the links below the heading).
    System and Security in Windows 10
    Click on the System and Security icon in the Control Panel.
  4. Click on File History.
    File History in Windows 10
    Click on File History in the System and Security settings.
  5. When you are in the File History, click on the Advanced settings link.
    Advanced settings in File History in Windows 10
    Click on the Advanced settings link.
  6. In the Advanced settings section, click on the Clean up versions link.
  7. Select one of the options available from the dropdown list. In this example, All but the latest one is selected so that only the current and one previous version of files and folders will be saved. This will free up most of your space.
  8. Click on the Clean Up button and confirm your decision.
    How to clean up File History
    Click on the Clean up versions link, select what you want to delete and click on the Clean up button.

That's it! This will delete all of your older backup files in Windows 10. There is another automatic backup process that saves backup 'files' - if you need more space, you can delete these too.

How to delete Windows 10 restore points

Windows 10 restore points are a great way to back up your system. If your system crashes repeatedly, having several Windows 10 restore points available will help you restore it without the need to reinstall the operating system. Over longer periods of time, just like the automatic file backups, Windows 10 restore points can take up some serious space. The good thing is that it is easy to delete old Windows 10 restore points.

  1. Type Create a restore point into Windows 10 search field, next to the Start button.
  2. Click on the Create a restore point result from the Control Panel, as indicated in the screenshot below.
    How to delete a Windows 10 restore point
    Type Create a restore point in the search field and click on the top result.
  3. In the System Properties dialog, select the drive where Protection is turned On. This is the drive that contains your Windows 10 restore points.
  4. Click on the Configure... button.
  5. Next to the text "Delete all restore points for this drive" you will see a Delete button. Click on it.
  6. Once you have confirmed your decision, you can click on the OK button to finish.
    How to Delete Windows 10 restore points
    Select the drive where your Windows 10 restore points are located (the drive where Protection is turned On). Click on Configure and then on Delete. Finish by clicking on OK.

Set how much space is reserved for Windows 10 restore points

If you pay attention to the image above, you will notice a Max Usage:  slider. This is where you can control how much space will be reserved for the Windows 10 restore points. The minimum is 1%, and the good news is that once the storage is filled up, older restore points will automatically be replaced by the new ones. Therefore, it is unnecessary to dedicate a huge amount of disk space for storing Windows 10 restore points. After you delete both your old backup files and Windows 10 restore points, you will free up some storage to install more programs or save additional files.

Open or delete backup files from other programs

Software installed on Windows 10 can have other type backup files that not is handled like in this article, if you are uncertain what software to use for opening a .backup file we can hep you find the software to handle it.

About this guide

File.org aims to be the go-to resource for solutions to everyday tech problems.

If you have ideas on how to improve this article, please do get in touch - we would love hearing from you.