Windows 10: Delete Older Versions of File History in Windows 10  

    Delete Older Versions of File History in Windows 10

    Delete Older Versions of File History in Windows 10

    How to Delete Older Versions of File History in Windows 10
    Published by Category: Backup & Restore
    14 Sep 2018
    Designer Media Ltd

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    Brink's Avatar
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    Posts: 32,988

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    How to Delete Older Versions of File History in Windows 10

    information   Information
    File History was first introduced in Windows 8, and has been improved in Windows 10.

    You can use File History to automatically back up versions of your files on a schedule to a location you select to save to. You can select to save backups to an internal hard drive, externally connected drive (ex: USB drive), or you can save to a drive on a network. You can add, remove, and exclude folders to be backed up by File History.

    Over time, you'll have a complete history of your files. If the originals are lost, damaged, or deleted, you can restore them. You can also browse and restore different versions of your files.

    You can set how long you want to keep saved versions of your files backed up by File History before automatically being deleted.

    You can also use File History Cleanup 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. All other files and folders, such as versions that were excluded or removed from your libraries, are also deleted from your File History.

    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.

    warning   Warning
    File History will eventually be replaced by a new feature called Timeline.


    CONTENTS:
    • Option One: To Delete Older File History Versions of Files and Folders in File History Cleanup
    • Option Two: To Delete Older File History Versions of Files and Folders in Command Prompt





    Delete Older Versions of File History in Windows 10 OPTION ONE Delete Older Versions of File History in Windows 10
    To Delete Older File History Versions of Files and Folders in File History Cleanup

    1. Open the Control Panel (icons view), and click/tap on the File History icon.

    2. Click/tap on the Advanced settings link on the left side. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    3. Click/tap on the Clean up versions link in the Versions section. (see screenshot below)
    Note   Note
    The Clean up versions link will not be available if you do not have any File History versions available on the currently selected drive.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    4. Select the time period of versions you want to delete, and click/tap on Clean up. (see screenshot below)

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    5. File History Cleanup will now start discovering items for the specified time period, and delete them if available. (see screenshot below)

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    6. If it didn't find any versions of your files that were that old, click/tap on Close, and repeat step 4 above using a shorter time period if you like. (see screenshot below)

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    7. If the cleanup completed successfully, click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  File_History_clean_up_versions-5.png
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    8. You can now close the File History control panel if you like.






    Delete Older Versions of File History in Windows 10 OPTION TWO Delete Older Versions of File History in Windows 10
    To Delete Older File History Versions of Files and Folders in Command Prompt

    1. Open a command prompt.

    2. Copy and paste the command below for the time period of versions you want to delete into the command prompt, and press Enter. (see screenshots below)
    Note   Note
    The -quite switch option in the commands below is used to not get a message dialog after deleting older files and folders.

    For more details on the FhManagew.exe command, see: FhManagew.exe (Windows)


    All but the latest one

    FhManagew.exe -cleanup 0

    FhManagew.exe -cleanup 0 -quiet

    Older than 1 month

    FhManagew.exe -cleanup 30

    FhManagew.exe -cleanup 30 -quiet

    Older than 3 months

    FhManagew.exe -cleanup 90

    FhManagew.exe -cleanup 90 -quiet

    Older than 6 months

    FhManagew.exe -cleanup 180

    FhManagew.exe -cleanup 180 -quiet

    Older than 9 months

    FhManagew.exe -cleanup 270

    FhManagew.exe -cleanup 270 -quiet

    Older than 1 year (default)

    FhManagew.exe -cleanup 360

    FhManagew.exe -cleanup 360 -quiet

    Older than 2 years

    FhManagew.exe -cleanup 720

    FhManagew.exe -cleanup 720 -quiet

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    Name:  File_History_clean_up_versions_command-2.png
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    3. If it didn't find any versions of your files that were that old, click/tap on Close, and repeat step 2 above using a shorter time period if you like. (see screenshot below)
    Note   Note
    You will not see this message dialog if you used the -quite switch in the command.


    Name:  File_History_clean_up_versions-4.png
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    4. If the cleanup completed successfully, click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)
    Note   Note
    You will not see this message dialog if you used the -quite switch in the command.


    Name:  File_History_clean_up_versions-5.png
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    5. You can now close the command prompt if you like.


    That's it,
    Shawn



  1. Posts : 199
    Microsoft Windows 10 x64
       4 Weeks Ago #1

    it does work very well in Windows 1803
    I am using it more and more

    FhManagew.exe | Microsoft Docs
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 32,988
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 18252
    Thread Starter
       4 Weeks Ago #2

      My ComputersSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 921
    Windows 10 Home x64 and Pro x86
       4 Weeks Ago #3

    I have never used File history but intend to try it out soon.

    What 'format' are the backed up files in? Are they possibly simple file copies that I could browse to in File explorer then copy [or, in other words, would test.xlsx still be test.xlsx in the backed up drive & therefore capable of being directly opened by Excel?]

    Denis
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 32,988
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 18252
    Thread Starter
       4 Weeks Ago #4

    Hello Denis,

    File History copies the files to the selected backup drive. I don't see any difference between the original and the File History backups.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  5. Posts : 921
    Windows 10 Home x64 and Pro x86
       4 Weeks Ago #5

    Thanks for clarifying that. Since they are copies that makes them very flexible in use.

    I'm just waiting for the postman to deliver a pair of 128GB SD cards for two computers {that have hardly-ever-used SD card readers} so I can experiment with using this utility for my main Documents folders with enough spare room left for [robo]copying new audio & video recordings inbetween main backups of the whole lot.

    Denis
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

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