How to delete old backups to free up space on WD Passport

My WD Passport 1TB external hard drive has now used 931GB and won’t do any further backups. How do I delete old backups in order to free up space? There is a folder called WD Backup.swstor, but I don’t see how to delete old backups. Would deleting the History folder do the trick? Then, when the next backup is done, would it create a new History folder?


If you don’t require those old backups further then you can try formatting or factory resetting your drive. It may free up the space on that drive. Also, you can use 3rd party data eraser tool like BitRaser File Eraser which will mainly use to wipe the old data from the drive and make the drive re-usable.

I’ve downloaded BitRaser, but I’m still unclear about how to delete old backups. It seems the History folder is a redundant copy of the WD Backup.swstor folder. If I don’t need old backups, would I erase the entire History folder and let the new backup create a new History folder?

Yes, is you don’t require the old backups then just delete the files from WD Backup.swstor folder and after that you can start creating new backups in the same folder.

This seems like this ? has had no response for 3wks. I too, being a less than 6mo user of Passport Backup, have wondered as I’ve seen my 1T start loosing space. Now 1T is a lot of space to become all used up. I started to Explorer view to find out where the files are going. For me, I was doing daily of the C:/users/MyPC/ which turnout a dumb and without much thoughtout set of files. Most files/folders, after the initial backup, do not change. However…

  • Windows type files change frequently…logs etc
  • Application folders and files also change
  • True, files like pictures, word, excel etc only change when you save or save-as
  • I use Mozilla…I was using a Malware checker of the Passport disk and noticed a file in the History folder for this Appl/local/mozilla…/.cache2/entries…and it took an awful long time to process…went to look at this folder on my PC and found over 3000 files in the folder, Just for today! Now imagine the backup of this file/folder for my daily backup for 6mo. Since each file has a unique name, there is no duplicate name and there could be millions of files.
  • this above example implies there could be many folders on Backup with files that are useless, but gets backed up. I believe that /Temp folders and a few other do not backup.

So, I went back to my Schedule and un-clicked the Application folder and many of the other programs that I don’t use. I only saved what I believe that I needed for work, home, pictures, play…basically data files like Desktop, Download, Documents and the Mozilla bookmark folder plus any others that I thought I would need if my PC Crashed. If I have to reload Exe files or program files or OS, or hardware…so be it. Having 1T of mostly system and program stuff is not worth it, unless it truly represents “Needed data”. I may not be able to get some data back but the new stuff should not occupy more space.

Now for the original poster, yes it would be nice to have a utility where you can get back some space. WD claims that only 5 versions of a file is saved. However when I look at my Excel files, which uses the same name over but different dates, I do see many many in the History folder along with the _LAST pointer. Now there is only one in the Volume(,) folder. Sort the History folder by Name for a better view…take a look at yours.

Munionman…I recently download a free disk statistic program called TreeSize and ran against my Passport. Found tons of saved files and folders with their file size in a Tree format. Wait till it completes running then expand the Tree to drill down into your device folders…you will be surprised at how many files are in AppData folders…for mine, Millions in a Mozilla cache2/entries…heck I couldn’t even open it. I just finished deleting over 2.5million from the History and 1.2million in the Volume(). They did not represent lost of GB space…about 50G, but the tool gave me something to work with. Did a Snip print of the tree cause I could not file a print within the utility for the expanded tree, only one for the summary. Once you identify the large size files you can make a decision going forward…

Thanks for the info. I’ll try it.