How to resolve Windows Server Backup not deleting old backups efficiently

Delete old backups manually using wbadmin command

If WSB fails to delete the old backups automatically, you may use wbadmin to delete backups manually. To delete the system state backups, you can run “wbadmin delete systemstatebackup” command. As for non-system state backup deletion, you should use “wbadmin delete backup” in Windows Server 2012 (R2) and Windows Server 2016 or delete the shadow copies where the backup exists as a workaround in Windows Server 2008 R2 and previous versions.

▶ Steps to delete old system state backups:

1. Right click on the Start icon and select Command Prompt (Admin) from the menu.

2. Type wbadmin delete systemstatebackup -keepVersions:3 and press Enter to delete all system state backups, except the three most recent.


✎ Note:
Other parameters you may use in “wbadmin delete systemstatebackup” command:
▪ -version:: delete the specific system state backup.
▪ -deleteOldest: delete the oldest system state backup.
▪ -backupTarget:: delete the system state backup stored on specific volume.

3. Type exit and press Enter to exit Command Prompt.

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