Use Wbadmin Delete Backup for Windows Server

How to Use Wbadmin Delete Backup for Windows Server

Repetitive backups are always a burden on the storage of your device. Similar backups for same file or folder are unnecessary and you always wonder about how to remove win backup files. This article will help to find ways for windows server backup to remove old backups.

Jul 20, 2020 • Filed to: Take Data Backup • Proven solutions


Windows server backup has been failing when this particular drive has been used as the target drive. The drive has worked in the past as it was properly set up as part of a backup set. I suspect it is failing because it is full.

When doing a wbadmin get disks command, the disk is listed as:

Total space: 931.51 GB

Used space: 931.46 GB

Volumes: [servername]

I have tried to run the following command to delete all but 10 of the most recent backups on the drive - wbadmin delete backup -KeepVersions:10 -backupTarget:"\\?\Volume{diskguid}\" - however, I get an error saying the backup location could not be found because I suspect the volume says it is not mounted, even though it shows up when I do the get disks command. The event viewer error ID is 517.

If you are facing an issue like windows server backup disk full, then it is because of repetitive backups that are creeping on the memory and leaving no room for the new backups or data to be saved on the drive. The only way to get rid of the excessive backed up data is to delete shadow copies windows server 2012 r2. This article gives you a third party backup software solution for getting rid of backups that are no longer of any use. Wbadmin delete backup keep versions are ready to use, just a click and you all the piled up data would be deleted.

Apart from employing any third party backup software solution, windows support your devices to create backups for avoiding any data loss. Windows Server Backup (WSB) is the built-in utility that helps to backup the complete server, the system state, storage volumes and specific files or folders. Once you schedule the backup with this utility, it efficiently then uses the disk storage space for creating regular backups. But, with repetitive backups created for same file/folder, you would probably get an error message i.e. windows server 2012 backup disk full or windows server 2008 backup disk full. This leaves a little space for the new backups, it shrinks the space i.e. the old backups and snapshots get deleted. The space is shrunk up to 1/8 of target volume. But sometimes, WSB fails to delete the old backups and no new backup could be saved due to space issues. This needs a solution like windows server 2012 backup cleanup. If WSB fails to work automatically, then a third party backup software solution i.e. wbadmin delete backup keep version is there to help. This article explains everything about how to delete shadow copies windows server 2012 r2. Here are the topics that would be discussed in detail.

Part 1: The Need to Delete Old Windows Server Backups

On one hand where WSB (windows server backups) create backup for the files/folders and even the full server, it automatically runs a disk usage management for managing the space to save the backups. On the other hand, the WSB is efficient in removing the old backups to clear the space for new ones. But if this built-in utility fails to proceed with this functionality, a third party backup solution i.e. wbadmin delete backup keep versions will serve the purpose. Now the question is, why you even want to delete the old windows server backup? Here are the reasons that could act as the possible answer.

1. Free up more space for new backups:

Same backups for one file/folder will block the storage and leaves no room for creating the new ones. So in order to create space for new backups, there is a need to regular remove/delete some old backups.

2. Meet Windows Server Backup not deleting old backups problem:

When your device fails to create new backups via WSB, the possible reason could be windows server backup disk full. It is because the utility fails to delete the previous backups. So there is need to delete shadow copies windows server 2012 r2 via third party backup software solution.

Part 2: Windows Server Backup Delete Old Backups Tutorial

As mentioned above, if WSB fails to delete the old backups, wbadmin backup can serve the purpose. WSB creates backup in two possible versions i.e. system state backups and non-system state backups. Now if you are employing wbadmin backup to delete the data, there are specific wbadmin commands to run. For system state backup, you need a wbadmin delete system state backup command, and for non-system state backup, the command is wbadmin delete backup. It is applicable for Windows Server 2012 (R2) and Windows Server 2016. Here are the processes in detail.

1- Delete system state backup

The system state backups are saved in independent directory, and for deleting these you need to clarify the target goals. The command used to delete the system state backups is “wbadmin delete systemstatebackup”. You need to specify the followings:

Here is an example of command prompt for deleting the system state backups:

“wbadmin delete systemstatebackup -version:05/04/2015-18:25 -backupTarget:G:”

2- Delete non-system state backup

In case, if you are using the Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 or Windows Server 2016, then your targeted command would be “wbadmin delete backup” for deleting the non-system state backups. Here again you have to specify the followings:

  1. [-version]
  2. [-keepVersions]
  3. [-deleteOldest]

Following is an example for command to delete the non-system state backups.

“wbadmin delete backup -keepVersions:3 -backupTarget:F:machine:WIN-9814GD4FH95”

Part 3: Professional Backup Software for Windows Server

Apart from the built-in utility, Third party solution is always a viable option. As a powerful backup software, AOMEI backupper professional there to serve the purpose. The software provides 4 backup solutions along with 5 efficient way to automatically delete the old backups. It helps to schedule the backups followed by full/incremental/differential backups. You can set the email notifications to check whether your backup process is completed or failed. Here are the steps to follow for deleting the old backups when WSB fails to perform this deletion method.

Step 1: Start the process with downloading and then launch the backup software on the device.

Step 2: In the main interface, select the option of backup. Next you have to choose for the particular type of backup i.e. System Backup, Disk Backup, Partition Backup, or File Backup. In this particular case, select the option of system backup.


Step 3: Once you select a particular backup, next you have to select the destination drive for saving the backup.


Step 4: Schedule the backup by selecting the option of schedule and click scheme to manage the disk space. The scheduling will automatically configure the space and runs automatic backup deletion process for making room to save new backup images.

Step 5: After selecting the scheduling, in the scheme menu, enable the backup scheme and select the scheme type. Click Ok to proceed.

Step 6: Add the particular schedule for backup program and click start backup to continue.


This is how AOMEI backupper support backup creation as well as scheduling the backup configures the disk space management.

Hence, creating backups for the data secures the integrity and avoid data loss. But repetitive backups for same file/folder will hold up the disk space and leaves no room to save the new backups. When your device pops up with a message i.e. windows server backup disk full, then it means it’s time to delete shadow copies in windows server. There is a built-in utility to serve the purpose. WSB not only create the backup but also undergoes a scheduled deletion for extra or old backup images by shrinking the space. In case, WSB fails, there is a third party backup software solution i.e. AOMEI backupper. This article explained a step wise procedure to follow to use AOMEI backupper.

Amy Dennis

staff Editor

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