Deletion of old backups

Userlevel 4

I started my first backup on the 9th. I have retention set to 12 days and Synthetic on Saturdays (default)  . No files have yet been removed from my NAS. I have attached details 9kinow there are extra backups on some days) but its over 12 days now. When will deletion start ?




Best answer by Mildur 22 May 2021, 13:39

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Userlevel 7
Badge +12

In 5 days.

Veeam cannot delete your oldest vbk and the vib yet, because they are needed to restore your backups in the required Retention Period from the oldest chain (10-14 May).

vbk = FullBackup

vib = incremental Bsckup

Userlevel 4

PK thanks, but when would that start, I'm on 14 days now

Userlevel 4

Sorry I just saw in 5 days….thanks

Userlevel 7
Badge +12

no problem :) Happy to help.

You can read more about why veeam keeps sometimes more Restore Points as configured retention here:


You will always need the vbk and all vib until the restorepoint you need the data from to do a restore.

It‘s called a Backup Chain. Removing the vbk and the first few vib will break the chain for the remaining vib. There are useless after that :)

Userlevel 7
Badge +16

Good explanation @Mildur . And @g3uiss ...Mildur’s answer is confirmed in the vSphere User Guide information (see point #2 on when a VM gets deleted) here. I sometimes forget this relevant fact as well :)

Userlevel 7
Badge +20

It is very easy to think ok I set the retention why is it not deleting but as noted Veeam adds days to the retention period. Great explanation @Mildur 

Userlevel 7
Badge +12

In addition to all other answers I can recommend the Restore Point Simulator. I often use this tool myself or show it to customers to better understand retention times. And it's great for others things too.


Userlevel 7
Badge +11

This is because you are using forward incremental backup chain which is recommended. I you should use reverse incremental backup, then the number of wanted restore points is equal to the one kept on the repository (of course after the first full run). This is because the latest incremental is always merged into the full backup file, but gets fragmented after time and slower (especially on slower repository, because you need to read and write on the same repository). Therefore it is recommended to use forward incremental (just sequential writing is done), but an incremental is dependant on the full backup. Therefore recommended to use at least a weekly full, so a new chain begins.