File History Cleanup – Delete Older Versions in Windows 10/8

Posted by @Ada

December 19, 2017

When backing up with File History, it is very likely that you will run out of space quickly. What should you do when there is not enough space left to make backups? This article will introduce how to perform File History Cleanup and how to automatically d

File History backup drive is out of space

File History, Embedded in Windows 8 and Windows 10, is a useful tool to automatically backup your files to the location you select to save to on a schedule. Over time, more and more File History backups saved and you find that you are running out of space.

In this case, you can use File History Cleanup in Windows 10/8 at any time to delete versions of files and folders older than a selected age, except the most recent version of a file or folder.

This tutorial will show you how you to use File History Cleanup to delete older backed up versions of files and folders for your account in Windows 10.

How to use File History Cleanup to delete older backups?

First, type File History in the Search Box and open the File History application.

Make sure that the backup drive is plugged in and File History is turned on. If the File History is off, then the folder is locked and you cannot delete the backups.

Then, click on the Advanced settings link on the left side column.


Advanced Settings

At the lower right corner, click Clean up versions.

Clean up Versions

This operation will open the File History Cleanup. You can delete versions of file and folders older than the selected age. The default value is "Older than 1 year". There are also some other criteria like delete files all but the latest one, older than 1/3/6/9 months or older than 1 year and 2 years.

File History Cleanup

Once the deletion criteria are set up, click Clean up.

Also, you can go to the backup drive to manually delete File History folder. All File History backup files are stored in a folder called "FileHistory" on the backup drive you set up. Just delete it.

Other things you may want to know

To avoid having the same problem in the future, it is recommended to improve your File History settings. You should change how long File History keeps saved versions. You can lower the time interval you have set.

Go to File History settings, click More options under Automatically back up my files On. By default, the time to keep saved versions is Forever, you can choose “Until space is needed”.

Change Settings

Besides this method, you can also set up automatically delete old backups will a third party software.

Automatically delete old backups with AOMEI Backupper

AOEMI Backupper Pro is designed for professional backup and restore. The deletion mechanisms can get you out of the trouble of low disk space. Also, it is a once for all solution. After the first time you set up to delete the old backups, you can leave it alone and rest assured.

Either during or after creating a backup, AOMEI Backupper can automatically delete old backups to free up disk space for new backups.

AOMEI backupper supports all editions of Windows system including Windows 7/8/10/Visa/XP. Let’s see how to automatically delete old backups in Windows 7/8/10.

Download and open AOMEI Backupper Pro. Take File and Folder Backup as an example.

Step 1: Select File Backup under Backup tab.

Step 2: Add File or Folder that you want to backup at Step 1. Then choose another location as destination path at Step 2.

File Backup

Step 3: Click Scheduled Backup at the bottle of the interface. Here you can set up a scheduled backup based on five modes, namely daily, weekly, monthly, event triggers and real-time sync. Then click OK and go back to the interface of File Backup.

Schedule Settings

Tips: The way to perform the scheduled backup by default is incremental backup. You can also click Advanced to change to full backup or differential backup.

Step 4: Tick Scheme in the lower middle place. Tick Enable Disk Space Management, then set a number of backup versions. When it exceeds the number of versions, the older backup image will be deleted automatically.

Delete Old Backups

You can also delete old backups after creating a backup task.

All your backups created by AOMEI Backupper are listed at Backup Management under Home tab. Select a backup task, click Advanced and select Edit Backup. In the pop-up window, select Backup Scheme tab. Then tick Enable Disk Space Management and specify the number of backup versions you want to retain.


In summary, File History Cleanup is a useful tool that helps you to free up disk space. However, AOMEI Backupper is more advanced and useful than File History Cleanup. With AOMEI Backupper, you do not need to bother yourself about manually deleting old backups.

It is also a reliable restore and system clone software. There are many other powerful features like restore system image to another computer with Universal Restore and migrate OS to SSD with System Clone.