The Windows Backup feature in Windows 7 is great for scheduling automatic backups to help ensure your important home network files are regularly backed up. Unfortunately, Windows 7 doesn’t offer an automated process for deleting old backups. You still need to do this manually.

If you don’t manage your backups, your old backups will eventually grow out of control. If you’re backing up to a writeable CD or DVD, deleting your backups is as easy as destroying the disc. Otherwise, use Windows Backup to manually prune old backup jobs from your hard drive, USB flash drive, or network share.

Be sure to actually destroy any CDs or DVDs containing your backups. Simply throwing them away potentially exposes your private data to dumpster-diving thieves.


Open the Windows Control Panel, and then click System and Security.

The System and Security window appears.


Under Backup and Restore, click Back up Your Computer.

The Backup and Restore window appears.


Under Backup, click Manage Space.

The Manage Windows Backup Disk Space dialog box appears.


Click View backups.

A list of recent backups displays under Select a Backup Period to Delete.


Select the backup period you wish to delete, and then click the Delete button.

A Warning pops up asking if you really want to delete the selected backup.


Click Delete and Run Backup Now.

Windows Backup deletes the selected backups.


Click Close when the process is completed.

You are returned to the In the Manage Windows Backup Disk Space dialog box.


Click Close.

A new backup begins automatically.