How to Delete Old Backup Files in Windows 7

Periodically, you need to take a few minutes to delete old backups in Windows 7 to make room for new ones. Creating backups of your data is easier than ever in Windows 7, which means that more people will create backups more frequently. Although that’s great, all those easy backups can take up an enormous amount of space.

Data backup files keep growing and growing, and if you don’t prune them back, they’ll take up all the space they can. Fortunately, deleting old backups is not as daunting as you might think. The Backup and Restore Center gives you several tools that make managing your backups surprisingly easy.

  1. Choose Start→Control Panel. Under the System and Security heading, click the Back Up Your Computer link.

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    The Windows 7 Backup and Restore Center appears.

  2. Click the Change Settings link.

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    The Backup and Restore Center shows you a full analysis of the space occupied by your data backups and system image (“ghost”) backups.

    Shadow copies/previous versions aren’t listed here because they’re stuffed into each drive’s system restore area.

  3. Click the View Backups button.

    The Backup and Restore Center shows you a list of all backups that have taken place recently, noting the size of the backup.

  4. If you want to delete a backup, click it once and then click Delete.

    Look for the really old, really big backups. Don’t worry — you’re only deleting the backup, not the original data.

  5. Click Close and then click X to close the Backup and Restore Center.

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