Windows 7’s Backup and Restore feature is one of the best and easiest to use versions of Microsoft’s free backup utility yet. And from my perspective, the more folks keeping their data safe through backups, the better.

However, Backup and Restore doesn’t automatically “groom” (automatically delete) older backups as your backup drive fills up, so every once in a while, you’ll need to take a trip to the Backup and Restore Control Panel and do a little pruning of your old backups to make room for the new.

Here’s how you do it:

1) Click Start > All Programs > Maintenance > Backup and Restore


Open:  Control Panel > System and Security > Back up your computer

Using either method, you should see the following screen.  When you do, click Manage Space:

2) Clicking Manage Space will show you some handy information about the backups Windows has made.  More importantly, there’s a button to click that will display all backups stored on your external hard drive.

Click View Backups

3) When you click View Backups, you’ll get a list of ALL previous backups sorted by date.  Scroll until you see the OLDEST backup in the list.

4) Select the oldest backup and then click Delete

5) Repeat the process of selecting an old backup and clicking Delete until you’ve cleared enough space on the backup drive for new backups.

That’s it!