Unwanted and old backup files that have been left over from updates or fresh installations can eat up a huge chunk of your storage space. Yes, you could delete some of those files. But what if we tell you that there are other folders that contain old backup data? Don’t worry you don’t have to find these folders of your own. We’ll guide you how to delete backup files in Windows 10.
Windows 10, hands down is one of the most feature laden OS that has ever to have come out of Microsoft. Windows 10 does have its own automatic options to delete unwanted files such as old drivers or maybe even junk that’s left over from an OS update. But there are a few files that it doesn’t detect. And that’s where you have to manually delete such folders and files.
What are Backup Files?
Backup files contain a copy of your system OS. It could also contain data and settings of your OS. Backup files are created only during particular events. Maybe you have reset your system due to slow functioning, issues with a program, or maybe even a driver update that has caused some functions to not work even after a driver rollback. Backup files are also created when Windows downloads and installs a newer version of the OS.
Backup files are useful when a freshly installed update is behaving abnormally. These files contain restore points that let you restore your system to the time point in time before the update was installed.
And if we talk about app backup files, these backups include temporary files created by different apps. It also includes settings from different apps and services running on Windows. And here we will also share how to delete app backup files in Windows 10.
Now if you’ve got backup files that you don’t need anymore, let us show you how to delete backup files in Windows 10. Later in this guide, we will also share how to delete app backup files so stay with us.
Best Methods to Delete Backup Files in Windows 10
Below are a few methods that you can follow to delete backup files. Each method works differently. You can also follow these methods to delete old backup files from Windows 8 and Windows 7.
Note: You need to follow all methods mentioned in this guide to free more space in Windows 10.
Method 1 – Clearing System Protected Files
System-protected files or we can also call it system restore points as exactly the same file that you can easily derive with its name. Restore points are created for a backup so that in case if a problem occurs on Windows, you can roll back to that restore point. It is a useful feature, but creating many systems restore points takes a huge space on the system. So, it is better to clean it on a regular basis. You can delete all restore points and create a fresh restore point to make sure there is only one restore point.
- To open Restore points first search for View advanced system settings and open it
- If you can’t find it with the above step, search systempropertiesprotection in Run
- Now in system properties, click on the System Protection Tab
- Now click on the Configure button to configure and delete system restore points
- Once you have done the space configuration all you have to now is click Delete.
In this way, you’ll be able to recover your storage space. You can also restrict the maximum data usage for system restoration.
Method 2 – How to delete backup files using the Disk Cleanup Utility tool
There is also another method that you could use to delete Win backup files. Disk Cleanup is another handy utility that helps to not only remove temporary files but also helps to get rid of previous installation files.
Windows.old file is one of the unused files which gets created in C drive if you update your Windows. Generally, it is a large file in GBs, so it is necessary to remove the file. You can use Disk Cleanup also for deleting Windows.old files.
- Go to Start and type Disk Cleanup in the search box.
- Open the Disk Cleanup App and select your main Windows drive. You can also open Disk Cleanup from Windows (C) Drive properties.
- Now in the Disk cleanup for C Drive, click on Clean up system files. Grant admin privilege if it asks.
- In the files to delete section make sure to select ‘Temporary Windows installation files’. You can also select other files you want to remove.
- After selecting files, you would like to delete click the OK button.
Note: the Windows.old folder will be deleted by this method. Generally, Windows automatically deletes this folder in a given time period, however, you can manually delete it by opening the drive where Windows is installed. Scroll a bit down and you will see the Windows.old folder. Hit the Delete key to delete the folder.
Method 3 – Delete File History
Deleting file history is our next method in the guide to delete backup files in Windows 10. File History can be another reason why your storage may be running out of space. This happens for example when you have a document and make changes to it, Windows makes a copy of that particular file and saves it elsewhere.
So, suppose you have a video file being edited in Premiere Pro and keep saving the file after 15-20 minutes intervals, Windows will keep making copies of that file based on the number of times you save that particular file. In this manner, the storage space gets filled up.
Note: this particular method will work only if you have File History turned on in the first place. If you do not have it on you can skip this method altogether.
To delete such file backups this is what you do:
- Open the Windows Settings on your PC.
- Select the Update and Security option. Now select the Backup and click on More Options.
- Here you can set the number of times backups are being created and deleted for the Backup My Files and Keep My Files. The default settings for these are forever. Making changes to the default value will let Windows decide on creating and deleting these backups.
- In case you just don’t want to deal with any of the Windows File History stuff, you can easily disable it by Selecting the Stop Using This Drive option. Doing so will permanently stop File History and thus delete any backups that have been created.
- The other way to get rid of File History backups is by using the PowerShell command.
- Right-click the Start Menu and select Windows PowerShell(Admin).
- Once in PowerShell simply type fhmanagew.exe -cleanup 0 and hit the enter button. What this command does is clears up recent backups. In place of 0 (it meant for a set of days), you can enter any other number. This lets Windows know to leave the backups saved for a longer period.
It’s an important method to remove backup files in Windows 10. It clears space on drives and also helps to increase the speed. You need to follow all the methods if you want to clear more space. There are many backup files stored in different locations, and deleting such backup files requires different processes. So, let’s now move to our next step to delete Win backup files.
Method 4 – How to delete backup files manually on Windows 10
This is one of the easiest methods to get rid of cache and other configuration files. Because of its simplicity, this is the most widely used method to make space in your system. These backup files contain dumps and other temporary files. And you can delete it as it gets automatically saved in the Windows drive and eats a chunk of space.
- To begin with, simply press the Windows and the letter R key. This brings up the Run dialog.
- In the search box, you can type Temp (Similarly you can also search for %temp% and Prefetch).
- Once you have typed it, simply hit enter. It will take you to the Temp folder where all your temporary and cache files reside.
- Now, press the Ctrl and A key to select all the contents in the folder.
- Hit the Delete key. It may ask you system administrator permissions, select Yes. This will remove all the temporary files. If it gets stored in Recycle Bin, you can delete from there also or you can permanently delete using Shift + Delete.
You can repeat the above steps by running %temp% and Prefetch in the run dialogue box. Select the internal contents and delete them all.
So, these are few methods to delete backup files in Windows. But what about app backup files. Yes, App backup files are different which are stored in different locations. These files also take a lot of space in the drive and also slow down the system. So how to delete these app backup files? Well, we got you covered, below you will know different methods to remove app backup files from the system.
How to Delete App Backup Files in Windows 10
To delete App backups from Windows 10, you can follow these methods.
Method 1 – Manually delete app backup in Windows 10
It is an easy method to get rid of unnecessary app backup files which we don’t need on our PC. In fact, you need to repeat this process more often to regularly delete app backups.
- First, open the Run dialog on your PC with the combination of Win + R buttons.
- In the Run dialog, type %localappdata% and hit enter.
- It will open the file location where app backups are stored for different apps.
- Now select all the files (you can use Ctrl + A).
- To delete these files, press the Delete button or press Shift + Delete to permanently remove these app backups from the system.
Note: These files contain save files and settings from different applications. So, removing these files can restore default settings on some apps. And so, in that case, do not select the app for which you don’t want to delete packages and restore settings.
Method 2: Remove Temporary files
Temporary files also contain cache and settings from default Windows applications. And you can also remove these with a simple process.
This one is similar to the Method 2 for deleting backup files.
- Go to Start and type Disk Cleanup in the search box.
- Open the Disk Cleanup App and select your main Windows drive (C Drive).
- Now select temporary files, you can also select other files you want to delete.
- And then click on OK button to delete these files.
So, there you go, six effective ways that let you delete backup files in Windows 10. Deleting such files will not cause any harm to your Operating System. But it can reset your settings for some apps so make sure you are mirroring these methods at your own risk.
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