How to delete old System Restore Points in Vista
2:40 AM | Author: Harpreet Singh Khandiyal

There are cases when you run out of disk space in your system drive, and you desperately need to increase it. Uninstalling applications and deleting old files can be a start, but you might also need some quick disk space injection.

I run into this situation when I recently reformatted my home computer. They usually come from factory with only one partition, and you need to keep data and system files in the same volume (argh). The first thing I do when I put my hands on a new computer is to create separated volumes for system and data. But this time I miscalculated how much space my system drive would need, and I quickly run out of disk space in my C: drive.

I see some people disabling restore points to release disk space. Unless you’re really, really sure of what you’re doing, don’t do that! There are a couple of things you can do to release space quickly without having to take such drastic measures:

Option 1: Delete old restore points

One thing you can do to release disk space is to delete old System Restore and Shadow Copies. If you read this blog, you know I’m a System Restore super fan and I’m by no means suggesting that you disable System Restore. But if your system is stable, and you’re sure you won’t need any recent restore points, you can do the following:

1. Run Disk cleanup, and wait for it to calculate disk space.
2. In the second tab, More Options, under System Restore and Shadow Copies group, click Clean up. Vista will ask you if you’re sure. Be sure you’re sure, because this operation is not undoable.

Option 2: Resize your System Restore Points allocated size

If you’re interested in changing your System Restore allocated size, you can run the command (from an elevated command prompt)

vssadmin resize shadowstorage /on=D: /For=D: /MaxSize=10GB

In the case above, I was changing shadowstorage for my D: drive. Replace D: for your own system
drive letter.

Please consider that you might lose some older restore points if you decide to decrease allocated disk space. Also, if you allocate a space that is too small, you might not be able to save any restore points at all, and that would be the same as having it completely disabled. Be careful when reducing your System Restore Points allocated size.

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