I have found that Windows Previous Versions are turned on mysteriously, after doing nothing for about two years. I have been told these can be turned off, as they are taking space up on my HDD, but cannot find anyway of doing this. Windows Help doesn't give you the option of turning it on or off.

Any ideas?


Get to this step:

Screen Shot 1

Then Click This:

Screen Shot 2

  1. To Turn On System Protection for Only Previous Versions of Files

    • Dot Only restore previous versions of files. (see screenshot below step 2)
    • This turns on only Previous Versions for the selected drive in step 5.
    • Move the Max Usage slider to set the maximum disk space usage you want to be used by system protection on the selected drive letter
    • Go to step 2.
  2. Then Get to this Step

Screen Shot 3


This is indeed an all or nothing type of feature. You can enable system restore points and enable this feature or disable system restore points and have file history enabled.

  • Very helpful - even included the screenshots for ease of use... I didn't even think of looking there so many thanks. – TomS Nov 13 '13 at 15:06

to turn off Previous Versions, you're aiming to turn off "System Protection" as a whole. So you'll loose both Previous Versions, and System Restore functionality.

(One way) To turn it off on Windows 7:

  • Open the Start Menu.
  • Right-click on the Computer button.
  • Select Properties.
  • Click the System Protection link in the left pane.
  • Click the hard disk drive or partition that you want to turn System Protection off for.
  • Click Configure.
  • Select Turn off system protection.
  • Apply/OK that change.

Unless you're ACTUALLY running out of disk space and need it NOW NOW NOW, disabling it is a mistake (IMO).

  • I was going to point out you can disable file recovery, then I looked at the options, and realized you can either have it enabled with system restore points or enabled without system restore points and decided to post this comment instead. – Ramhound Nov 8 '13 at 18:46
  • Cheers - I have just not got round to putting a new HDD on it yet... – TomS Nov 13 '13 at 15:08
  • @Ramhound One reason why this not a mistake: if your hardware is starting to fail, system restore will restore damaged files without any warning to a previous version. Programming IDEs cache files locally and any file that you have edited today will be overwritten the next day with a previous version. If you do not notice it, you are efectively destroying your work. – machineaddict Nov 17 '16 at 9:40

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