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Can we delete Veeam backup files manually?

Dear Experts, we are using Veeam B&R 8.0 to backup VMs to a NAS. But the storage's size was consumed very fast. Please see the attached pictures for the settings of restore points and VM retention in Veeam.

In the rest picture, you can see we have some .vib (incremental) and .vbk (full) backup files. Questions are:

1. If we setup the restore points to 15, why did not Veeam delete backup files before October 1st automatically? Is there any setting which we can config to achieve that?

2. Can we delete some backup files manually?

Many thanks in advance!
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Luciano PatrãoICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  

Yes you can. Has long you delete the full chain. Full backup .vbk and incremental .vb

If you delete full, the incremental will not work.

After tou delete files you need to go to Veeam backup option and rescan you repository that you delete files from it. It will remove those restore points from the Backup chain and repository.
ICT Infrastructure Specialist Senior
when did you set this 15 restore points in your retention policy?
1. As I can see you are using forward incremental backup with active/synthetic full on Saturdays/Fridays (depending on duration of your backup). As your retention policy is set to 15 you may have up to 22 restore points on your backup respository - as whole previous backup chain (Full backup and 6 increments following it) must expire before it can be deleted. More details on  retention for forward incremental backup you can find here.

2. You can do it as Luciano mentioned - after that you need to rescan repository so Veeam is aware of maual file deletion. But those files will reappear in repository depending on your backup settings.

3. Retention for deleted VMs showed on VMretention.PNG screenshot - is not to delete whole backup files but for VMs that were backed up and are no longer present in backup job. More info you can find here: https://helpcenter.veeam.com/backup/80/vsphere/retention_deleted_vms.html

If you are running low of disk space you may consider to decrease retention policy or switch to forever forward incremental backup. Then only one full backup will reside on backup repository with incremental backups following it. Or even reverse incremental but it will generate more load on your repository so you need to make some tests before.
Luciano PatrãoICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  
Was replying with mobile(and still) so did not notice the images of your environment.

So the immediate solution here is to reduce the restore points and change the backup type to have always the last backup working as the full backup.

But even that will mean that you need space for the transformation to migrate to that type of backup. One full backup before you could even delete any files.
DP230Network Administrator


Hi, thanks for your comments. As my understanding, if I config the restore point to 8, the old backup files before October 1st will be deleted tonight, am I right?

Currently we are setting Active full backup every Saturday, is it better to set it to Synthetic backup?

And .vbm file should NOT be deleted, am I right?
Dariusz TykaICT Infrastructure Specialist Senior
If you setup 8 restore points you may have up to 15 restore points with forward incremental backups. The number of restore points should be adjusted after next backup, so it shouldn't be necessary to manually delete files (unless you do not have space for current backup). Then remove one oldest vbk file and 6 vib files following it. It will remove oldest backup chain from respsitory. Then make rescan.  Do not touch vbm file. Its metadata file.
If you are ok with full backups from production then it is not necessary to switch to synthetic ones. Only if you want to avoid higher load on production storage during backup you can switch to synthetic full backup as all transformations are done on repository without touching production.
DP230Network Administrator


Many thanks for your answers, the old backup files was deleted automatically after I reduced the restore point to 8.