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How to View & Manage Space for Backups in Windows 8

information   Information
Windows Backup provides you with the flexibility of managing the disk space that is used by your backups. After you set up Windows Backup, you can view how much disk space is being used by the backup and how much free space you have on the disk that your backups are being saved on. To control how much disk space is being used, you can choose how many file backups and how many system images Windows keeps.

This tutorial will show you how to delete and manage space for file backups and system images in Windows 8.

You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to do the steps in this tutorial.

Note   Note
New full file backups are created in sets known as backup periods. To help maximize your disk space, Windows Backup will only do a new full backup of all files in your selected folders the first time it runs, and then only does an incremental backup of files that are new or have been changed since the last scheduled backup was made. Periodically, Windows creates a new, full backup. When you view your file backups, you see all of the backup periods labeled with date ranges as Backup Set YYYY-MM-DD HHMMSS. If you decide to delete file backups, you should always keep the most recent file backup.

By default, when system images are included in a scheduled backup to be created, Windows automatically saves as many system images as it has space for without taking up more than 30 percent of available free space on the selected backup partition/volume. Once the disk starts running out of room, Windows will automatically delete older system images to make room for the new system image. You can set Windows to retain as many system images as it has space for on the backup disk or to only keep the most recent system image. You should always keep the most recent system image. If you are saving your system image on a network location, you can only keep the most recent system image.

warning   Warning
In Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1, the Windows 7 File Recovery (aka: Windows Backup) feature in this tutorial is no longer available.

If you like, you could use File History instead of Windows Backup, and a custom refresh image instead of System Image. You could also use a 3rd party program like Macrium Reflect instead.





Backups - View and Manage Space in Windows 8 OPTION ONE Backups - View and Manage Space in Windows 8
To View and Manage Space of Backups on Current Backup Location

NOTE: This option is only for the backup HDD/partition location that you had already set up and still currently using Windows Backup to create file backups and optional included system images on.

1. Open the Control Panel (icons view), and click/tap on the Windows 7 File Recovery icon.

2. Click/tap on Manage space, click/tap on Yes if prompted by UAC, and go to step 3, 4, or 5 below depending on what you would like to do. (see screenshot below)

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3. To View and Delete File Backup Periods

A) Under Data file backup, click/tap on the View backups button. (see screenshot below)

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B) Select a backup period you want to delete, and click/tap on Delete. (see screenshot below)

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C) Click/tap on Delete to approve. (see screenshot below)

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D) When it's finished deleting the backup period, click/tap on Close. (see screenshot below)

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E) Repeat step 3B to 3D above if you would like to delete another backup period.

F) When finished, click/tap on Close, and go to step 4, 5, or 6 below for what you would like to do.

4. To Delete or Manage Space for System Images Not Created Automatically

NOTE: This step is what you will see when you have your current file backup set up to also include creating a system image without running the backup on a schedule.

A) Under System image, click/tap on the Change settings button. (see screenshot below)

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B) Select how you would like Windows to retain older system images, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

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C) If you selected the bottom option above, then click/tap on Delete. (see screenshot below)

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D) Go to step 3 or 6 for what you would like to do.

5. To Delete or Manage Space for System Images when Created Automatically
NOTE:
This step is what you will see when you have your current file backup set up to also include creating a system image while running the backup on a schedule.

A) Under System image, click/tap on the Change settings button. (see screenshot below)

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B) Select how you would like Windows to retain older system images, and click/tap on OK. (see screenshot below)

Tip   Tip
You can change the maximum space used for system images (ex: 419.18 GB) on the drive letter you are saving the Windows Backup to by changing the maximum space used by System Protection for the same drive letter. This is the same setting.

You do not have to have System Protection turned on for the drive letter, but do need to adjust the maximum space to what you like.

The size of a system image can be quite large since it will include all system drives in the image by default plus any drives you have included. If you want to keep multiple system images, be sure to increase the max size accordingly.


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C) If you selected the bottom option above, then click/tap on Delete. (see screenshot below)

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D) Go to step 3 or 6 for what you would like to do.

6.
When finished, click/tap on Close. (see screenshot below step 3A, 4A, or 5A)

7. You can close Windows 7 File Recovery if you like. (see screenshot below step 2)






Backups - View and Manage Space in Windows 8 OPTION TWO Backups - View and Manage Space in Windows 8
To Delete Backups on Backup Locations not Used by Current Setup

NOTE: This option is to delete backup periods you want that are created on a backup HDD/partition location that you are not currently using Windows Backup to create file backups and optional included system images on. If you like, you could also use change settings to create a new backup at this other backup location, then be able to use OPTION ONE instead since it will then be the current backup location.

1. Dostep 2 or 3 below for how you would like to start.

2. Delete File Backup Periods Directly from Backup Location

A) Go to step 4 below.

3. Delete File Backup Periods using Manage Windows Backup disk space

A) Open the Control Panel (icons view), and click/tap on the Windows 7 File Recovery icon.

B) Click/tap on Manage space, click/tap on Yes if prompted by UAC. (see screenshot below)

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C) Under Backup location, click/tap on Browse. (see screenshot below)

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D) Click/tap on Close for the window above, and go to step 4 below.

4. Navigate to and open the location where the backup is saved at.

Note   Note
Backups are saved in this format:

drive letter:\computer name\Backup Set YYYY-MM-DD HHMMSS


For example:
If your computer name is Brink-PC, your backup location is on hard drive (network or local) D: , and you backed up on August 29th 2012 at 1:53:41 PM (it will use 24 hour time), then your backup would be located in the folder below. You will need to right click on BRINK-PC (computer name), and click/tap on Open to be able to see the Backup Set YYYY-MM-DD HHMMSS folder.


D:\BRINK-PC\Backup Set 2012-08-29 135341


5. Right click, or press and hold, on the computer name of the backup that you want to delete, and click/tap on Open. (see screenshot below)

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6. If prompted, click/tap on Continue and Yes (UAC). (see screenshot below)

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7. Right click, or press and hold, on the Backup Set YYYY-MM-DD HHMMSS folder of the backup period that you want to delete, and click/tap on Delete. (see screenshot below)

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8. If prompted, click/tap on Continue and Yes (UAC). (see screenshot below)

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9. When finished, you can close the backup location window if you like.

That's it,
Shawn