Firstly, let’s begin with What are backup files?
A function on your PC or laptop that makes a copy of any document, file, software, pictures, videos, custom configurations, etc. that you save on your device.
It is an added feature of safety and is an excellent strategy in a case where your device is affected by a virus, malware, gets hacked, or shuts down completely due to a hardware crash.
In such cases, you have an option to restore these files. Using the “Backup and Restore” will allow you to recover the necessary items onto your device.
Windows 10 does have the option of setting a backup option and has an option for you to choose the intervals at which your device would backup.
Why do we need to delete backup files?
When we use any computer for a long time, our backup files and data start taking a lot of space on our disk.
Additionally, if our drive saves our backup fills, it would become challenging to manage essential data.
A simple example, in this case, would be the instance of us trimming the shrubs in our garden so that they don’t overgrow and remain healthy.
Similarly, your backup disk needs to be trimmed from time to time, in order to ensure the proper function and smooth running of your computer.
You could delete old backup files that aren’t needed to free up space on your backup disk.
How to delete backup files on Windows 10?
There are a few different ways to delete the backup files on your computer.
Let’s have a look.
Option 1: To delete all the old system files and settings of previous versions.
- Open the Control Panel.
- Select System and Security
- Click System
- Click System Protection (would be on the left side of the page)
- Click Configure on the System Protection Tab
- Click Delete
- Click Apply, followed by OK.
Option 2: Delete backup files using File History clean up
- Open the Control Panel and click System and Security.
- Click File History within Systems and Security
- Click the Advanced Settings option (left side of the page)
- Click Clean up Versions
- Select the period of the backups you want to delete
- Click Clean Up and click OK when the process is complete.
Option 3: Using the Built-in tool to delete the backup.
- Open the Control Panel
- Click System and Security
- Select Backup and Restore (Windows 7)
- Click the Manage Space option.
- The Manage Windows Backup Disk Space tab will pop up.
There will be two options visible.
- If you click View backups within the Data File Backup section, you will have to select the backup period within which you want to delete the files and click Delete.
- If you choose the Change Settings option within the System Image section, you can free up space by changing your settings on the older System files. Also, it would enable Windows to delete backups automatically.
How does the backup system work on Windows 10?
Unlike the previous Windows backup system, Windows 10 saves its backup files onto the File History. It gives you the option to restore any data before it was deleted.
Earlier Windows versions used a tool called Backup and Restore, which would take a ‘system image’ of your system, including the files, settings, etc. which would allow the easy restoration of your data.
The Backup and Restore function are available on the Windows 10 as a legacy function but requires an external backup drive unlike earlier.
To enable File History backup on your Windows 10 computer:
Go to Settings > Update and Security > Select Backup > Select Add Drive > Select your preferred location for backup.
You can click ‘More Options’ to start a backup, add a different drive, and decide when your files will be backed up. Click ‘Backup Now’ to start the backup.
To restore files from the File History backup:
Type’ restore files’ on the taskbar and select ‘restore your files with File History,’ you’ll be given all the options that are backed up, and you can choose whatever you wish to recover.
Now, coming to the set up of the Backup and Restore option.
To enable the Backup and Restore option on Windows 10:
Go to the Settings > Click the Update and Security > Select Backup > Select 'Go to backup and restore (Windows 7).
Select 'Set up backup' (right side of the page) > Select the external drive to store in the automatic backups > Click Next.
Select the Let me choose the option under 'What do you want to backup'> Click Next > Under Data Files, select all the necessary items > Check the 'Include a system image of drives' option box > Select Next.
Furthermore, you can schedule backup time and day for automatic backups that will be done by the computer.
To restore files from the Backup and Restore backup:
Plug in your external drive.
Go to Settings > Click Update and Security > Select Backup (left side of the page) > Click More Options > Go to the bottom of the page and select 'Restore files from a current backup.'
If your external drive is plugged in, a pop up will show, wherein you can select the file you want to restore.
Keeping your computer data backed up is a crucial and helpful strategy that could save your time and efforts in case of an unwanted event.
Be it through the File History or using Backup and Restore on an external drive or a different computer helps to keep your information safe.
An important tip while backing up necessary data is to transfer it to at least three different types of storage devices like a cloud, a hard disk, and a pen drive or whatever suits you.
Deleting unwanted old files and memory from your computers is essential as, over time. It would take up more space than the actual data on your computer.
It is always wise to ensure that you always have room to store your backup information.