How to Delete the System Restore Points in Windows

Are you running out of hard disk space even after clearing out the temporary folder and other junk files? You may consider lowering the disk space allotted to System Restore or delete the System Restore snapshots which includes previous versions of files. Upgrading the hard disk is the ultimate solution though.

Deleting all System Protection Points

Cleaning up the System Protection points may sometimes be necessary during malware removal or when the hard disk is low on space.

  1. Press WinKey + R to bring up the Run dialog.
  2. Type sysdm.cpl and click OK.
  3. Select the System Protection tab.
  4. In the System Protection options, select a drive-letter and click Configure
    what is system volume information folder, and can i delete it
  5. Click Delete, and click Continue when prompted.what is system volume information folder, and can i delete it
  6. Click OK, OK.

Deleting all but the most recent System Protection point

To delete all the restore points except the most recent one, use Disk Cleanup:

  1. Start Disk Cleanup (cleanmgr.exe)
  2. Select the drive-letter from the list and click OK
  3. Click Clean up system files. This restarts Disk Cleanup to run in elevated mode.
  4. Select the drive-letter from the list and click OK
  5. Click the More Options tab
    what is system volume information folder, and can i delete it
  6. Click the Clean up button under System Restore and Shadow Copies.
  7. Click OK.

This deletes all restore points except the most recent one, and thus potentially reducing the size of the System Volume Information folder.

Deleting a particular Restore Point

Windows allows you to delete a particular restore point programmatically, or using the Vssadmin.exe console tool (run from elevated Command Prompt). Here is the command-line arguments supported by Vssadmin.exe



ParameterDescription

/for=<ForVolumeSpec> Specifies the volume for which the shadow copy is to be deleted.
/oldest Deletes only the oldest shadow copy.
/all Deletes all of the shadow copies for the specified volume.
/shadow=<ShadowID> Deletes the shadow copy specified by ShadowID. To get the shadow copy ID, use the vssadmin list shadows command. When you type a shadow copy ID, use the following format, where each X represents a hexadecimal character:
/quiet Specifies that the command will not display messages while it is running.

delete shadow copies vssadmin

For a detailed information, check out post How to Delete Individual System Restore Points in Windows? which discusses a couple of methods to delete restore points selectively.

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 10 consecutive years from 2003 to 2012.

11 thoughts on “How to Delete the System Restore Points in Windows”

  1. Useless…
    All the RP# are still there.
    Can’t even delete them manually.

    D:\System Volume Information\_restore{2E94EBD8-BC0C-4BB2-AABF-B2FB83106175}\

  2. Open System by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, right-clicking Computer, and then clicking Properties.

    In the left pane, click System protection. Administrator permission required If you’re prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

    Under Protection Settings, click Configure.

    Under Disk Space Usage, click Delete.

    Click Continue, and then click OK.

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