Software Windows

How do I delete older versions of File History in Windows 10?

Photo by Luis Quintero from Pexels

If you use File History to back up your data, there may come a time when your backup hard drive becomes too full. This could be because File History has filled up your drive or you simply need to make room to store something else. In either case, it’s possible to erase some of the file history you’ve accumulated over time and create some space. So let’s look at how you go about doing it.

The old way

To delete older versions of File History in Windows 10, you need to use the File History settings in Control Panel rather than through the newer Windows 10 Settings.

The easiest way to get to Control Panel is to type control panel into the search box.

If the search box is unavailable, tap the Windows key on your keyboard, and then type control panel.

The search box will now display the Control Panel shortcut. Click on that to open the app.

Once Control Panel opens, click on File History.

If you can’t see the File History icon, you may be viewing Control Panel in Category View. In that case, first click System and Security.

Next, select File History from the list that appears.

File History

You should now see the File History Window. From this window, select Advanced Settings from the list on the left-hand side.

Next, under the Versions section of Advanced Settings, click on the link Clean up versions.

The File History Clean up window will now appear and, from the drop-down menu, you can choose at what age you want to delete your file history. There are several choices available, ranging from removing anything older than two years to deleting all versions except the most recent backup. So select the time period you’re happy with and then click Clean Up.

If you pick a period that is older than the history you have saved, File History will ask you to choose a shorter time period. Click Close and select an earlier time.

Otherwise, File History will remove any old files that are within the time you chose. How long it takes will depend on how much data there is to delete. Once complete, you will see a message to tell you the clean up completed successfully. Click OK to finish.


If your backup drive is overflowing with File History versions, make some space by removing older versions. Just follow the steps above!

Also check out our other useful tips on File History:

How can I use File History to restore deleted data?

How do I change my backup drive in Windows 10 File History?

About the author

Mark Parvin

I have worked with and wrote about computers, video games and consumer tech for more years than I care to admit.
I currently run my own IT support business and write about the wonders of tech whenever I can.

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