How to Delete Old Windows 10 File History to Reclaim Drive Space

If you’re using the built-in File History feature in Windows 10 as part of a backup strategy, you might need to make room for the data from time to time.

File History is a feature in Windows 10 that allows you to restore modified documents to an earlier version or recover files you might have accidentally deleted. It’s similar to Time Machine on MacOS and was originally introduced with Windows 8. Typically, you’ll set up File History in Windows 10 to back up your data to a large capacity external USB drive or network location. But after time, you might find that you need additional room on the drive to continue the File History backups. Here’s a look at how to review and delete older versions so you can reclaim drive space.

Delete Old File History Versions in Windows 10

Hit the Windows key and type: control panel and hit Enter or select the result at the top to open the classic Control Panel.

From Control Panel, scroll down and click on File History.

Next, click the Advanced Settings link from the list on the left.

Under the Versions section in Advanced Settings, click the “Clean up versions” link. Also, note that here you can manage how often copies of files are created and the length of time versions are saved.

Clean Up Versions Windows 10 File History

Now, from the drop-down, choose how far back you want to delete the versions of saved files. You can select from older than two years to older than just one month. There is also the option to delete all versions except for the most recent one.

delete versions file history

You will get a progress message while the older versions are being deleted and a message letting you know the process was successful. The process is generally quick, but it will vary depending on the amount of data you’re clearing and speed of the PC.

deleting versions

If you want to review your files before deleting versions, hit the Windows key and type: file history and hit Enter. Then you can browse through and look at the date and times that the files and folders have been backed up.

Windows 10 File History

For more on making sure your Windows 10 data is backed up and secure, check out our articles on how to create a system image as well as how to create a Restore Point.

Do you use the File History feature in Windows 10 as part of your overall data backup strategy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Or, jump in our Windows 10 Forums for more discussions and troubleshooting advice.



  1. Chris Strijbos  

    Very nice.

  2. Ziggy  

    System Images usually work quite nicely and are probably better than System Restore Points – though I must say they have got me out of some sticky situations but sometimes they can fail to initiate. Never had any issues with system images to date!

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