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While backing up the database, I would like to use "Backup set will Expire:" option to delete/overwrite old database backups. I am not able to use this option.

Any advice on how to use "Backup set will Expire:" options while creating Maintenance plan will be appreciated.

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What does "I am not able to use this option" mean? Where did you get the idea that expiration will delete backups? –  Aaron Bertrand Jun 20 at 11:53

2 Answers 2

The "Backup set will Expire" option is used to indicate how long a backup should be prohibited from being over written. It will not clean up old backup files. You can use the "Maintenance Clean up Task" in your maintenance plan to clean up backups files older than a certain number of days.

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From MSDN Back Up Database Task (Maintenance Plan)

Backup set will expire

Specify when the backup set can be overwritten by another backup set.

So, there's no deleting of old backups, just overwriting with new ones.

Any advice on how to use "Backup set will Expire:" options while creating Maintenance plan will be appreciated.

This depends on how long you want to keep your old backups. Does your company have a policy for that? Do you move your backups to a storage after a while? If you do, you can specify any number of days for expiry, as long as you copy the backups before the expiry time comes.

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Okay let me be more precise… One of my previous DBA designed (only on 1 server) maintenance plan with this option (Backup set will expire after 7 days) without adding Maintenance cleanup task, backup will be taken into a folder on the same Server. I end up manually deleting old backup files when there is a space crunch. Before I add Maintenance cleanup task to delete older backup files (older than 7 days), I am interested to understand my previous DBA intention to select this option rather than adding Maintenance cleanup task. –  Vijred Jun 22 at 1:30
    
Thx for the clarification. It seems to me that he thought that the new backups will immediately overwrite the expired ones, but that doesn't happen.If you're in a space crunch, the best option is to use Maintenance cleanup tasks. –  Milena Petrovic Jun 23 at 11:15

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