File History backup destination overall used storage space RRS feed

  • Question

  • For installation of Windows 10 Pro (latest updates applied) here if to visit Settings app > Security area > sub-area with File History settings, titled Backup > More Options appx. 90GB are reported as backup size. If to check all backup source folders together with File Eplorer one can see no more than 4GB (I make a big reserve to source directories real storage space usage while talking about 4GB here). Where this discrepancy from?

    If to visit file history destination storage using File Explorer vehicle one can see those appx. 90GB too. So Settings app does not lie.

    Actually those appx 90GB are highly surprising  as all folders file history is enabled for do not include so many nor so big files.

    • Edited by Anuusia Thursday, February 22, 2018 8:21 PM
    Thursday, February 22, 2018 7:33 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    File History back up your files at a scheduled time and it will not replace the previous files. 

    For example, if you scheduled to back up files (4gb)every day, then they will be backed up increasingly 4 gb+4gb.

    You can set the Keep saved versions to 1 month in case that you will run out of back up space. Or you can manually click the option Clean up version to free the space.

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    Friday, February 23, 2018 3:25 AM
  • Hi,

    If you have any problems, please feel free to contact me.

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    Monday, February 26, 2018 1:54 AM
  • Please accept my apologize for lack of one important detail in problem description. That detail is: There was only one single file history backup iteration completed because at beginning of procedure FH was enabled then started from scratch. 

    Following results from my last observations. If for given user account one enables FH for the first time FH appears to add to backup coverage every sub-folder of user profile. Then few seconds or single minutes later it starts the backup process. Even if in parallel to that user conducts some adaptations to backup coverage (means to add or remove some folders) FH does not appear to apply these changes. Even if to check several days later after FH enablement + initial backup iteration + user adaptation in folder coverage the adaptations - exclusions - are not reflected on backup destination side. 

    Main point of problem described here: unfortunately one of user profile sub-folders (which as mentioned FH adds automatically to backup coverage) here is used to store virtual disks files big in theirs size. FH added that folder to backup. User is aware of those files' and folder's existence therefore she/he made exclusion rule for that folder shortly after had enabled FH and started it from scratch. Due to behaviour observed and described above big virtual disks files have been backed up by FH - please note exclusion rule for them still exist. It did not help to wait several days in order FH removes items from backup corresponding to exclusion rules on itself. User needed to do it manually by itself.

    Tuesday, February 27, 2018 7:40 PM
  • Hi,

    From your description, my understanding is “Even user made exclusion rule for one folder when performing backup, it will still make a backup of that folder”. If any misunderstand, please feel free to let me know.

    I test on my machine , I excluded Desktop folder from File History. After completing backup, I click Restore personal files from Control Panel\File History,

    Seems after I excluded Desktop folder, it will not be backed up when performing a backup.

    Could you please check on your side that if we exclude the folder which stores virtual disks files, then perform a backup manually, after that, click Restore personal files from Control Panel\File History, will the backup still contains that folder? If possible, a screenshot is much appreciated. You can upload the screenshot to a network drive and share the link here.

    Thanks for your cooperation.

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    Wednesday, February 28, 2018 8:27 AM
  • Hi,

    Me won't do this test as it is not in my interest to have Desktop excluded from File History. In my interest is to exclude user profile sub-dir created by user and used for big virtual disks files storage. In my interest is also to exclude from FH some of user profile standard folders: 3D objects, that one associated with Microsoft cloud, maybe few more. I am sorry for this.

    All that described in my last post are observations made in reality.

    The initial update process took multiple hours > that's one evident more FH has included subfolder with big virtual disks files inside automatically and on itself. There are no other sub-folders in user profile intended here to be in File history and of such high storage space consumption.

    • Edited by Anuusia Thursday, March 1, 2018 9:38 PM
    Thursday, March 1, 2018 9:35 PM
  • Hi,


    Thanks very much for your reply to let us know your observations about File History!


    As I understand, if we enable File History, it will automatically perform an initial backup, this will include all subfolders under user profile folder. This is a by-design behavior. After the initial backup, if we configure exclusion rule for File History, it will not backup that folder in the next time backup.


    And as a test, I excluded Desktop folder from File History after the initial backup, and this was described in my last reply. I’d like to say sorry to you for not making it clear. What I mean is not to let you exclude the Desktop folder from File History, just want to verify if the excluded folder was backed up after we configured the exclusion rule.


    And if I not misunderstand, you want to exclude the file folder which stores virtual disks files because it consume huge disk size and some other standard folders, such as 3D objects, will these folders excluded successfully in the next time backup after we configured the exclusion rule?


    Thanks again for your efforts and if any questions/results please feel free to let us know.


    Best regards,


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    Monday, March 5, 2018 9:02 AM
  • Thank you for your elaborations and please apologize big delay on being back.

    FH has two lists: folders included in FH backup and folders excluded from this. Actually it was possible to use merely list of folders included in backup to conduct all needed adaptations in backup coverage here. With one exception: the folder with big virtual disks inside was added to list of excluded folders. List of exclusions does not include any further entries.

    Actually backup coverage works fine right now. However again with one exception: The folder put to list of excluded ones is present on FH backup destination side. However not the virtual disks files, nor virtual machines files inside. Only log files are present. This might have the root cause in fact pointed out below.

    Few weeks ago one change in registry (or in local policy) was conducted to exclude certain types of files from being included in backups.  I guess I did it with Windows Recovery Image as intention. That change was made for virtual discs files, possible for few types more - that possibility I have found in some MS technical article of which I liked to make a use. On conducting that change I was not aware of possible impacts to FH backups.  However those apparently exist, see problem described in paragraph one above.

    Actually question raised initially in this thread addresses discrepancy in indications of resulting backup size. This problem still exists. For Windows 10 here only one user makes use of file history backups. Certain CIFS share is used as destination. That share is only for purpose of this backup. It means no other data is stored to addressed CIFS share. Windows File History reports backup size of 109GB (Windows Settings app, File History section or exactly said its Advanced settings). However if to go to machine hosting backup destination (NAS running under embedded Linux) one can see the backup size of no more than 30GB. This is a big discrepancy. Today if to use Windows File Explorer to check the backup size by get connecting to used CIFS share it also indicates size below 30GB. I believe at day of opening this thread in its initial posting it was the opposite way: seen through glasses of Windows file explorer the backup size was as indications in FH gui.
    • Edited by Anuusia Saturday, June 16, 2018 1:14 PM
    Saturday, June 16, 2018 12:57 PM