Why should you care if backup disk is full?
Windows 10 includes features that allow you to backup system image backup and save previous versions of your files regularly. Those features are very useful because your files and system are protected with backups.
If backup disk is full, then no backups can be created, leaving your files and system at risk. Therefore, it is important to well manage backups in Windows 10.
How to free up space on backup disk
As mentioned, Windows 10 has many backup features to protect your system and files. You may have enabled system protection to create system restore points, set up automatic image backup task with Backup and Restore (Windows 7), or backup your files using File History.
Delete Windows image backup
You can click Start and then select Settings > Update & Security > Backup > Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7) to open the old image backup tool. Click on Manage Space.
In the next screen, Manage Windows Backup disk space, you can click View backups to select any of the image backup files to delete.
After deleting some of the previous image backups, you can also change how Windows manage the previous image backups. Click on Change Settings, and then you have two choices:
1. Let Windows manage the space used for backup history
2. Keep only the latest system image and minimize space used by backup.
The first 1 is the default option. If your backup disk always gets full, you can change to the second option to only save one system backup in Windows 10.
Delete system restore points
Windows 10 System Restore Points allow you to undo unwanted system changes and restore protected files to the previous version. If you think this is taking too much space. You can delete all or some of the system restore points.
To delete all restore points:
Step 1. Search “system protection” and select the result “Create a restore point”.
Step 2. Click Configure…
Step 3. Click Delete and confirm the option to delete all of the restore points on this drive.
To delete all but the most recent restore point (Recommended):
Step 1. Right click on C: drive and select Properties and Disk Cleanup. If you want to delete restore points on other drives, just right click on another drive and do the same.
Step 2. Click Clean up system files and wait for the calculating.
Step 3. Click More Options tab, and click Clean up… under System Restore and Shadow Copies.
Step 4. In a pop-up confirmation window, click Delete to delete all but the most recent restore point.
Cleanup File History
By default, Windows 10 File History will save all versions forever, so eventually, your Windows 10 backup disk will full. You can easily change that setting to automatically delete old versions.
Before you trying to delete File History backup versions, you need to make sure the backup drive is connected and File History turned on. Otherwise, you are not allowed to delete File History backups.
Open File History from Control panel. Then click on the Advanced settings.
In the next screen, you will have the option to change how long the saved versions are stored. You can change Keep saved versions for 3 months or so. You can click the link Clean up versions to delete versions right now.
All those three Windows backup features are supposed to free up disk space when needed. By theory, you should never run out of disk space on backup disk. However, you still may end up backup disk full in Windows 10. In that case, you may want to choose another backup program with a more flexible way of managing backup disk space.
Manage Windows 10 backup disk space in a more flexible way
If you are looking for Windows Backup and Restore software, then AOMEI Backupper Professional edition is recommended. It provides scheduled incremental and differential backup and 5 different backups schemes to automatically delete previous backups, so your backup disk will never run out of space.
Based on what you want to include in the backup, you can perform system backup, disk backup, partition backup, files and folders backup. Unlike file-level backup, AOMEI Backupper is able to backup files that are currently in use.
When choosing schedule triggers, you can have the backup to run at a specific time daily/weekly/monthly or upon an event. If you want the backup to run when no user is logged on, you need to choose the option run scheduled backup using Task Scheduler under the Advanced tab.
After configuring a scheduled backup, you can enable Disk Space Management to automatically free up backup disk space while keeping remaining backup images recoverable. Based on how you set up the scheduled backup, choose the suitable backup scheme to free up disk space.
It is recommended to use the listed backup schemes to automatically delete obsolete backups. If you intend to delete backups manually, you can do it with File Explorer.
As you may know, incremental backup is based on the previous backup. If you delete an incremental backup, the incremental backups after the one deleted are useless. Therefore, you should create a full backup before deleting incremental backups.
Unlike incremental backup, differential backup is based on the last full backup. You can delete any differential backup. as long as the full backup is intact, your differential backups are valid.
If you get confused, just use the built-in backup schemes and it will take care of your backups and disk space, so you will not worry about Windows 10 backup disk full. Besides these features, AOMEI Backupper also provides File Sync and Disk Clone feature to protect your data.