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Windows 8 File History/Keep saved versions e.g. 3 months- does this mean that ALL files older than 3 months will be deleted?

    Question

  • I update and save quite a few files each day, and I can see in File History that there are many saved versions for these files.

    This would fill up my backup drive fairly quickly, and therefore, I need to reduce 'Keep saved versions' from the default of 'forever' to about 3 months.  But does this mean that all files older than 3 months will be deleted my File History backup?  What happens to all my files that have only ever been saved once, but are older than 3 months?  Are these retained in File History or deleted?

    The forums on File History do no make this very clear.

    Monday, January 28, 2013 11:15 PM

All replies

  • I don't have an answer to your question, specifically, but are you seeing new versions of saved files specifically only for when you've saved them?

    I ask because there's another thread in which people are claiming File History is making multiple backups of files that are not otherwise being touched.

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w8itprogeneral/thread/14cedd95-b3b0-4830-be00-da793dda9e27

    If this is your problem, you may be able to work around it (e.g., by disabling HomeGroup networking, as some in that thread are saying that helps), and that might make it unnecessary to change your setting to 3 months.

    Good luck.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 12:59 AM
  • Noel

    Thanks for your reply.

    I do see multiple backups of some files that I have not previously updated and saved.  However, this is not my main concern, and has not occurred much at this stage.

    It seems basic to me that Microsoft should tell people if they select 'Keep saved versions' other than the default 'Keep forever', then their backed up files either will, or will not, be deleted after a specific period i.e. 3 months.  Are the backed up files that are backed up only once in File History deleted, or are they left in place?  

    Is it only the different versions that are deleted after a specific period, or is it all files?

    Yes- I have seen the thread you are referring to, but it does not address my problem, which is really one for Microsoft to explain a little more thoroughly in their description  of File History.

    But I could wait forever for Microsoft to do that, so if you, or anyone else has the answer to my question, I would like to hear from you.

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 2:00 AM
  • I'm unfortunately not an expert on File History.  I just don't use it and haven't had time yet to experiment with it.  But I hope you get answers from some others who do.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 2:40 AM
  • If you select "3 months", and you always modify some files. When the space is full, File History will delete the oldest versions of these files (not all files) before 3 months to make rooms for new versions.

    Niki Han
    TechNet Community Support

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 7:51 AM
    Moderator
  • If you select "3 months", and you always modify some files. When the space is full, File History will delete the oldest versions of these files (not all files) before 3 months to make rooms for new versions.

    Niki Han

    Thank you for your reply.  Is it only when the space is full that oldest versions of 'updated' files are deleted?  And at what stage does it stop deleting them?  If the space is full, does the oldest file get deleted to make room for the newest update, and so on?

    Are you saying that files that are backed up only once and never updated can stay in the backup forever, even though you have chosen 3 months to keep file versions?

    Wfeg


    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 8:16 AM
  • I wonder whether you can just go into your File History backup folder e.g. I:\FileHistory in Windows Explorer and delete the multiple versions of files manually?

    Would this cause FileHistory to malfunction?

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013 9:44 PM
  • I found this note on the Microsoft Support forum:

    Note

    • File History doesn't automatically delete versions of files older than the time interval you choose unless your drive is getting full and space is needed to back up more recent versions.

    I Hope this helps.

    Saturday, November 16, 2013 6:31 AM
  • What I want to know is if I can depend on always having at least the latest copy of a file saved on the drive, even if the saved date is of most recent saved file is beyond the save window.    On the surface it's sounding like that if it's beyond the window, then it is a candidate for deletion if space is short.   If this is the behavior then I don't dare set the window to anything but forever, for fear that some of my older files will fall off the backup set and I'd have no back up copy available.   Can anyone clarify the behavior in this regard?
    Tuesday, November 19, 2013 12:33 AM
  • Following up on my previous post directly above, I suppose if the quoted statement in the 2nd previous post above is to be taken that such deletion of a previous file older than the window is done on a file by file basis only to store a new version of the same file, then perhaps there's hope that there will always be at least the latest versions of all files saved on the backup kept no matter how old any file is.   Again.  I'd like to see confirmation of this before I change the setting from "forever". 

    By the way, the link to the support forum where the quoted comment was taken by the previous poster is at:

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/what-something-goes-wrong-file-history


    Tuesday, November 19, 2013 12:46 AM
  • Here's a good sign that the latest version of a given file may always be kept.   If you run the File History Cleanup tool you get the below dialog box.  It appears to do the right thing in always preserving at least the most recent version no matter how old the latest version is.   Hopefully that holds true for the process as files are saved as well.   If someone can confirm based on their experience that would be appreciated.

    

    Tuesday, November 19, 2013 1:28 AM
  • Helping further confirm (as noted in some of the postings above) that the last version of a file always be kept, and explaining when the old versions are actually deleted, I found this quote on another website:

    From: http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/2484-file-history-how-use-windows-8-a.html

    D) In the Keep saved versions drop down menu, select how long to keep saved versions of File History. (see screenshot below)

    Note   Note

    The retention policy is only used when the selected storage drive is full, and not before that.  If your selected drive fills up, backup versions of your files that are older than the age specified by your retention policy in your Keep saved versions settings are deleted, but the most recent backup copy of each file is always retained regardless of its age.  If you have sufficient disk space on the selected drive, File History will continue to save versions of files and folders on the selected drive as set in your advanced settings.  If you are concerned about disk space on the selected drive, you can also manually clean up versions of older files and folders saved by File History.




    • Edited by LewisN Friday, August 21, 2015 5:34 PM
    Friday, August 21, 2015 5:17 PM