Updated · Mar 30, 2023
How to Delete Backup Files on Windows 10 [All The Methods]
Updated · Oct 16, 2022
You’ve owned a computer for several years now. You were pretty happy with its and its specs when you bought it. However, now that it’s aging, it doesn’t seem as fast and robust as it did years ago.
Sounds familiar? Yeah, we’ve all been there.
Do you want to know why it happens?
As you use your computer over time, old backup files will eventually build up and slow it down.
That’s why today, we’ll help you learn how to delete backup files in Windows 10. Now, you likely won’t be able to bring your computer back to how it was when it was brand new. But doing periodic system cleanups like these will definitely help prolong its lifespan.
How to Delete Backup Files in Windows 10?
There are several ways to delete backup files from your system. You may choose among them, though if you want the best results, we suggest you perform all of them regularly.
File History Cleanup
File History is a Windows 10 feature that keeps older versions of your files as backup. That way, you can recover your files if you ever accidentally delete them.
Getting rid of those extra files is a good starting point for cleaning up your PC.
Here’s how you delete Windows backups:
- Open the Start menu, type in “Control panel,” and click on the first result.
- Select System and Security.
- Open File History.
If your File History is set to Off, you can ignore this method entirely. But if it’s active and running, take the following steps:
- On the left-hand side, click Advanced Settings.
- Select Clean up versions.
- Choose how far back you want your backups deleted and press Clean up.
Note that this method won’t delete any of your existing computer files. All it does is clean up any old versions of your data.
Perform a Disk Cleanup
A more straightforward way of deleting Windows backup files is by performing a Disk Cleanup.
- Open the Start menu and type in “Disk cleanup.”
- Click on the first result.
- Click on Clean up system files.
- Tick the files you want to delete, then press OK.
Know that there is a short description at the bottom of the window explaining each file. Files deleted by Disk Cleanup cannot be recovered, so choose carefully!
Enable Storage Sense
Storage Sense is a Windows 10 feature designed to delete old Windows update files automatically. You can also use it to get rid of old files and unnecessary bloat.
Here’s how it works:
- Open the Start menu and type in “Storage sense.”
- Click on Turn on Storage Sense.
- Make sure the Storage setting is set to On.
- Click Configure Storage Sense or run it now.
- The Storage Sense setting must be set to On.
- Make sure the checkbox right below Temporary Files is enabled.
Low on space and need to free up some right away? You can do so by clicking Clean Now at the very bottom. This will delete old Windows backups and download files.
Clean Your Downloads Folder
Your Downloads folder stores everything you have downloaded from your web browser. Over time, it can fill up to an enormous size and take up several gigabytes of storage.
Take the following steps:
- Open File Explorer.
- Choose the Downloads folder (you’ll see it on the left-hand side).
- Mark the files you want to delete or select all of them with Ctrl+A.
- Delete them with Shift+Del.
Delete System Restore Points
Our final method of removing backups in Windows 10 involves deleting your System Restore points.
Now, what is System Restore?
This feature allows your computer to be restored to a previous state. It’s particularly handy if any system settings get messed up due to a new installation.
The downside is that as your OS automatically makes restore points, they can eventually pile on.
If you aren’t planning on ever taking advantage of System Restore, you can disable it entirely. This will free up some space.
Here is how to do it:
- Open the Start menu, type in “restore,” and select Create a restore point.
- Click on Configure.
- Click on Delete.
Why Delete Backup Files?
There are several reasons why you’d want to delete your Windows backups. Here is what you will gain by doing so:
- Faster computer by deleting unnecessary data that take up extra memory
- Extra storage space on your drive
- Faster boot and restart times due to fewer processes running in the background
- Longer-lasting device
- Help in privacy protection, as temporary files often contain sensitive information
- More stable programs, as some files may interfere with apps
- Better antivirus security
All this seems like too much work?
This is why many programs are available to do the heavy lifting for you.
Perhaps the most popular of these is CCleaner.
CCleaner scans your system and automatically gets rid of Windows 10 app backup files and other bloat. It has a built-in ad blocker, security features, and active file monitoring to ensure your PC is always clean. The best part is it’s free to try.
This is far from your only option, though.
Most antivirus software comes with extra features specifically designed to clean your system from junk. Avast Cleanup and AVG TuneUp are examples of such programs that remove unnecessary backups and clean out your registries.
At the end of the day, every computer will slow down over time.
That’s partly due to the cumulative build-up of backup files and other bloat. These files take up extra space and memory, making your computer feel sluggish.
That’s why knowing how to delete backup files in Windows 10 is super helpful.
Doing so periodically will ensure your computer lasts longer and operates faster. And if this seems like a daunting task, you can install programs like CCleaner to do it for you.
So get busy and good luck!
My fascination with technology began from quite an early age thanks to computers and video games. Nowadays, I love anything related to music production and astronomy. Coincidentally (or is it?), both of those have a great deal to do with tech. Honestly, most of the stuff that can be accomplished with modern electronics kind of seems like magic to me. This is why I feel this strong need to constantly learn more about it and talk about it, almost to the detriment of others.
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