My Passport Ultra won't delete old back ups to clear space

I’ve gotten the following error message: “Unable to back up files to My Passport Ultra because there is not enough space. To create space for new backups, you must delete some previously backed up files.”

This is followed by a link, Delete Files, and when I click on it, up comes a window showing that the delete is in progress. I’ve let it run for over 3 hours, but nothing gets deleted.

I don’t see any reference to this Delete Files link in the manual.

Is there a fix for this?

Well that’s a new problem not heard of much… Most of the complaints is that the drives are lost for you. As in malfunction and loss of files.

I am assuming you are using WD Backup.

What is probably happening is that the delete is removing older versions of the backups. You won’t see what is deleted. Just let it run.

I also suggest that you remove some files from you backup plan. I omit the two Program folders, but do keep the Program Data Folder. You may also consider omitting you download folder as you could probably get any download again if you needed them.

The thing is the WD Backup maintains two sets of files: one is in the History Folder and the other is in the Volume folder. The History folder seems to keep track of changes made to files, while Volume keeps the current copy of the files. So, the backup drive actually has twice as much as on the source drive.

I ope this helps.



To clarify and add more information, I am using WD Backup on a Windows 7 PC to back up to My Passport Ultra 1T.

I took your advice to let the delete run. But before I did, I deleted the backup plan and created a new one, just in case some bug could be cleared out that way. Then I initiated a backup and it eventually failed as before.

At this point I checked the drive properties on My Passport.
Used space: 841 GB
Free space 89.7 GB

Then I started the delete. After 7 hours it showed the green stripe sliding across the bar as if it was still working on the delete process.

After 9.25 hours, it appeared “frozen”. i.e. No green stripe sliding across indicating that anything was happening.

I terminated the delete process and then checked the properties of the drive again.
Used space: 842 GB
Free space 88.7 GB

So after over 9 hours of this delete process, I have less drive space.

At this point I don’t know if there is a bug in WD Backup’s undocumented Delete process, or a problem with the hardware of the drive itself.

Any ideas how to determine what the root problem is?


Well I guess the Delete is not working. I did have a problem, but it did work somehow.

I’m now suggesting you start all over! But first make sure that you have not deleted anything on your PC that was saved to Backup. If there is, Restore it with Backup. Then you can use WD Drive Utilities Drive Erase to clean up the Passport. And that does take a while since it formats the drive. Then, if you haven’t, make a new Backup Plan that will use less space. Keep to essential data.

Now I think WD is still developing Backup and that may be why the Delete failed. There is a way of deleting backups using Windows and if you want to try that let me know, but it is complicated and time consuming. I use it but I’m old and retired!

And I’m wondering if there is someway we can let WD know of the problem. Maybe a note to the Support people?



Thanks for your help. I submitted a support request. Their claim is "We will process your request within 2 business days. ".

I have this same problem. Reinstalled Windows and Backup plans are gone- try to back up and it creates a whole new volume. I want to use the old back up volume. Isn’t there an *.ini file or something I can move to the new Western Digital program folder? Other than that I guess I delete the whole MyBook and start over - and wait for 3 days for my back up to finish…