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File History Cleanup - Delete Older Versions in Windows 8

  1. #1
    File History Cleanup - Delete Older Versions in Windows 8

    File History Cleanup - Delete Older Versions in Windows 8
    How to Use File History Cleanup to Delete Older Versions of Files in Windows 8 and 8.1
    Published by Brink is offline
    29 May 2013
    Default File History Cleanup - Delete Older Versions in Windows 8

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    Brink's Avatar
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    Join Date: Jul 2009
    Posts: 22,582

    How to Use File History Cleanup to Delete Older Versions of Files in Windows 8 and 8.1

    information   Information
    File History is a new feature introduced in Windows 8 that automatically backs up files that are in your libraries, contacts (C:\Users\(user-name)\Contacts), Internet Explorer favorites (C:\Users\(user-name)\Favorites), and your desktop (C:\Users\(user-name)\Desktop).

    This tutorial will show you how to use File History cleanup to delete all backed up file versions older than the number of days you specify in Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows 8.1, and Windows RT 8.1.

    Note   Note
    File History saves your files in the Data folder in the selected local or network drive at the location below.

    (selected drive)\File History\(user-name)\(computer-name)\Data\C\Users

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





    File History Cleanup - Delete Older Versions in Windows 8 OPTION ONE File History Cleanup - Delete Older Versions in Windows 8
    To Use File History Cleanup from Control Panel

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

    2. On the left side in File History, click/tap on Advanced settings. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version

    3. Under the Advanced settings section, click/tap on the Clean up versions link. (see screenshot below)

    Click image for larger version

    4. In the drop down menu, select the age you want to delete versions of files and folders from, and click/tap on Clean up. (see screenshots below)

    Click image for larger version

    5. If File History Cleanup didn't find any versions of your files that were older than the selected age, then click/tap on Close. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  File_History_Cleanup-4.jpg
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    6. If File History Cleanup found and successfully deleted any versions of your files that were older than the selected age, then click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

    Name:  File_History_Cleanup-5.jpg
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    7. When finished, you can close File History if you like.






    File History Cleanup - Delete Older Versions in Windows 8 OPTION TWO File History Cleanup - Delete Older Versions in Windows 8
    To Use File History Cleanup from Command Prompt

    1. Open an elevated command prompt.

    2. In the elevated command prompt, type the command you want to use below, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)

    FhManagew.exe -cleanup age

    OR

    FhManagew.exe -cleanup age -quiet


    Note   Note
    Substitute age in the command above for how many minimum number of days old of file versions that can be deleted.

    To suppress all output, use the -quiet command-line option.

    A file version is deleted if both of the following conditions are true:

    • The file version is older than the specified age.
    • The file is no longer included in the protection scope, or there is a newer version of the same file on the target device.


    If the age parameter is set to 0 (zero), all file versions are deleted, except for the newest version of each file that is currently present in the protection scope.

    For example: To delete all file versions that are older than one month.

    FhManagew.exe -cleanup 30

    For example: To delete all file versions that are older than one year and suppress all output.

    FhManagew.exe -cleanup 365 -quiet



    Click image for larger version

    3. If File History Cleanup didn't find any versions of your files that were older than the specified age, then click/tap on Close. (see screenshot below)
    NOTE: You will not see this prompt if you used the -quiet option.

    Name:  File_History_Cleanup-4.jpg
Views: 45779
Size:  23.3 KB

    4. If File History Cleanup found and successfully deleted any versions of your files that were older than the specified age, then click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)
    NOTE: You will not see this prompt if you used the -quiet option.

    Name:  File_History_Cleanup-5.jpg
Views: 45670
Size:  16.9 KB

    5. When finished, you can close the command prompt if you like.



    That's it,
    Shawn


  2. #1


    Posts : 14
    Windows 8 Pro 64-bit

    File History Clean up


    I want to run my file history clean up, but the message is slightly confusing and I want to make sure I'm not deleting certain files that I want to keep.

    Name:  File history message.jpg
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Size:  64.9 KB

    This is the part i'm looking for clarification on "All other files and folders, such as versions that were excluded or removed from your libraries, are also deleted"

    I realize how file history works, if there is two of the same files, one with an older date and one more recent, it deletes the older one. But here is my question: After running file history, to save space on my main hard drive I have deleted certain files that were backed up, so right now they exist in my file history back up, but not on my main drive. If I run the file history clean up, is it going to delete the files which it previously backed up but are no longer on my main HD? Or will it just delete the older timestamped files, and leave the ones that were previously saved with file history, but no longer exist on my main HD?

    Any clarification would be great! I can't seem to find a clear answer to my question.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #2


    Posts : 22,582
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hello Bob,

    I'm assuming that it means that any folder or library that you currently have set to be excluded from File History (step 6 below) would also be deleted from any versions of file history saved before you excluded them.

    File History - How to Use in Windows 8

    Hope this helps,
    Shawn
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #3


    Posts : 14
    Windows 8 Pro 64-bit


    I currently don't have any excluded files.

    So let's say I run File History and am backing up My Pictures > Photos > Picture.jpg
    So it creates My Pictures > Photos > Picture(2013_11_27 08_00_19 UTC).jpg on the file history backup.

    Then I go to delete the original file (My Pictures > Photos > Picture.jpg) to save space on my main hard drive.
    When I run the file clean up will it see that Picture.jpg is no longer on my main hard drive and therefore delete Picture(2013_11_27 08_00_19 UTC).jpg in the file history back up?

    Does that make sense?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #4


    Posts : 22,582
    64-bit Windows 10


    Yep, that makes sense.

    Short answer is no. In that situation, File History Cleanup would only delete versions of files (including that file) older than the time frame you selected.

    This is so since the point of File History is to be able recover a saved previous version of a file that was say mistakenly deleted or modified from the source.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #5


    Posts : 14
    Windows 8 Pro 64-bit


    Thanks for clarifying things!

    Just to make sure I fully understand, it will only delete files that have a more recent back up, and therefore if I wanted, once file history backed up my whole Photos folder onto my external HD I would be free to delete it on my main drive without worrying about file history cleaning it up after its over a month old (if that's what my clean up schedule is set to)?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #6


    Posts : 22,582
    64-bit Windows 10


    If you don't want to lose the files, then I would always recommend to never delete them, and keep a copy of them at another location for safe keeping. Even if you use File History. Best to be safe than sorry later.

    File History Cleanup will still delete the saved versions of those files if the saved versions are older than the time frame you selected in File History Cleanup.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #7


    Posts : 14
    Windows 8 Pro 64-bit


    Okay sounds good. Thanks for the help!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #8


    Posts : 22,582
    64-bit Windows 10


    You're most welcome.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #9


    Posts : 22,582
    64-bit Windows 10


    Tutorial updated to add OPTION TWO to run File History Cleanup from a command.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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File History Cleanup - Delete Older Versions in Windows 8
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