The title pretty much sums it up. We are running out of space on our backup disks, and need to remove old backups out of the set. I can't seem to find any information on this.

3 Answers 3


I would change your backup strategy to write to individual files for each database backup. You could then have a maintenance plan step that examines your backup location and removes *.bak files older the X days.

  • 1
    Agree 100% - write your backups as individual files. Use maintenance plans or Ola Hallengren's excellent scripts. Nov 2, 2011 at 22:53
  • We ended up doing this, just stinks that we have to have a maintenance plan, and that the backupset can't handle that. Nov 11, 2011 at 15:05

There's no way (that I've ever heard of) to delete a single backup from a backup file. This is why people write each backup to a separate file so you can just delete the old files.

  • Do you know if anything changed from 2011? I've spent a lot of time searching for a way to delete individual backups from a file. May 15, 2019 at 6:59
  • 1
    Nope nothing has changed and I'd expect nothing to ever change on that front. In fact new features like backup to url only support one backup per file.
    – mrdenny
    May 16, 2019 at 7:04

Well, if you really want to get a db with those selected items you could restore the database to a new database and choose the backups you want to keep whilst restoring.

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