Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


File History Cleanup - Delete Older Versions in Windows 8

  1. #10


    Posts : 563
    W10 x64 pro and W8.1 x86


    I've been trying out file history on a networked drive and am finding its a really great feature but like Bob above, I've had questions over deletion of (now) unwanted files.

    Some questions I have,

    1/ Would manually deleting files from the history folder cause any problems with any data base file that may be present on the main C drive.
    If there is such a file, where is its location ?

    (I'm asking all this because I have just had to restore my C drive (using Acronis) to a date from last week. This has left my file history 'user screen' (that is the File History recovery screen a normal user sees) as correct for the restored date but there are dozens of now unwanted files in the history location. These unwanted files were all created between the Acronis image date and today and as such were all valid at the time, but now I don't want them. Hope that makes sense)

    Even without the complication of the image restore, I also generate huge but fleeting (as in several gb) temp files from running some specialised simulation software. These would all be candidates to delete at will should any make it to the History File. I called them 'temp' files but they live in the folder containing the data for the simulation which in practice is just a folder in 'Documents' and these temp files self delete when the simulation is closed.

    2/ I noticed there are some 'catalogue' and some xml 'config' files in a folder on the History drive that are I think related to File History keeping track of changes. So similar question as above. Does an image restore of the C drive throw these config files on the History drive into confusion because they would now be out of step with any similar file on the C drive carrying the OS.
    Its not easy to explain it all... it makes sense to me, hope it does to others as you read it

    The two real questions though are,
    1/ How best to manage and delete files from File History that I really don't wont anymore.

    and,

    2/ What (if any) log or xml files etc exist on the C drive that relate to file History.

    Its all very much a learning curve but as a practical example of things going awry......

    Following the Acronis restore there were some files I wanted to keep and these of course were in the File History location. Now the restored image had no knowledge of those files and so they do not show on the normal user interface. Even manually running File History didn't change that. Browsing for the files manually in the File History location and dragging them over to their home on the C drive of course works just fine except that now, when File History updates, it sees what it thinks are a new set of files and so copies these back to the History location. Result... duplicate History files. A minor problem I know.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #11


    Posts : 1
    Windows 8.1

    Clarification on file locations deleted, please


    << If you like, deleting the File History folder will delete all versions of files and folders on that specific selected drive. >>


    Clarification, please. Let's say that I have a Dropbox folder tree on my gigantic local hard drive. My File History folder is a subfolder within that tree. If I delete the File History subfolder and its contents, what becomes of the master files (stored in other Dropbox subfolders) from which the copies were made? Are they deleted as well?


    It is unclear to me whether the File History folder contains actual independent copies. Or whether the copies are somehow linked to the master files, and to delete a copy also deletes the corresponding version of the master file stored elsewhere.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #12


    Posts : 563
    W10 x64 pro and W8.1 x86


    I don't quite follow you on the Dropbox question but I can confirm that the files in the File History folder are real copies of the originals with the exception (from memory) that they are time stamped and the properties changed to read only ?

    I used to find it easier to browse manually for a file if I needed it, and then just copy and paste it as required.

    As there has been rumour of File History being dropped in W10 (which I now use over W8.1) I no longer use it and found a better replacement in AOMEI backup software which also has a 'file sync' facility.

    I don't know Dropbox well enough to be familiar with its quirks such as whether deleting the Dropbox folder actually deletes the stuff from the Cloud Storage.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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File History Cleanup - Delete Older Versions in Windows 8
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