If you need to back up your files and folders on Windows 10, you can use File History to get the job done. Navigate to Settings, select Update, and Security, and click on Backup to back up your data using File History.
If your backup folders are taking too much space on your drive, you can simply delete older backups. Unfortunately, the OS may sometimes fail to find the backup files and clean up your File History data.
How to Fix File History “Element Not Found” Error
Disconnect Your Peripherals
Unplug all the USB drives and devices connected to your computer. Your peripherals may sometimes prevent you from launching certain processes on your computer. Disconnect all the external devices connected to your machine and try to delete the backup folders again.
If you use an external hard drive to store your backup files, close File History, disconnect your external drive and restart your computer. Connect your drive to your computer again and check if you can delete the problematic files.
Scan Your System Files
If your system files got corrupted, your computer might fail to run your commands.
- Type cmd in the Windows search bar, right-click on the Command Prompt app and select Run as administrator.
- Then run the sfc /scannow command and check if you can delete your File History folders.
- If the error persists, run the following commands:
- DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup
- DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
- Check if these commands solved the problem.
Alternatively, launch Command Prompt with admin rights again and use these two commands to clean up your File History files:
- FhManagew.exe -cleanup 90
- FhManagew.exe -cleanup 90 -quiet
The “cleanup 90” sequence tells the OS to delete all the older than 90 days.
Repair Your Drive
Several users fixed this problem by repairing their drives.
- Go to This PC, right-click on your drive, and select Properties.
- Click on the General tab and select Disk Cleanup.
- Select the files you want to remove and hit OK. Make sure to include the temporary files on the list.
- Then, click on Tools and check your drive for system errors.
- Restart your computer and check if you can delete your File History files now.
Undo Recent Updates
If these File History issues started occurring after updating the OS, uninstall recent updates, restart your computer and try again.
Go to Control Panel, select Uninstall a program, click on View installed updates, and delete the newest updates.
If you can’t delete old File History backups, disconnect your peripherals and then run the SFC and DISM commands to repair your system files. Additionally, you can also scan and repair your drive. If this problem occurred shortly after updating your computer, uninstall recent updates and check the results. Are you still experiencing the same issue? Let us know in the comments below.