If it turns out that this is a process that I must do again multiple times in the future, how often should I? Every other day? Every week?
Is this really not going to affect my program/files?
I'm not an expert by any means, but as far as I know it shouldn't affect your things. It didn't affect any of my stuff. It's only supposed to remove older backups, and it should leave the most recent one.
If cleaning up the restore points frees up a significant amount of space, there's a chance that this is the problem. And if you have a good idea of what the problem is it should be easier to find a permanent solution later (if some people who are more knowledgeable can help you).
So mostly I'm recommending this because it might help narrow things down for you. It very well might be another problem entirely though, but at least this might help determine that.
So I guess I would try it at least once before deciding how often you should repeat the process in the future.
Just finished your instructions, and now it jumped from 53 GB of Free Space to 63 GB of Free Space.
The weird thing is that after I clicked on the cleanup button, and then yes to the message, nothing happened. The computer didn't freeze up or anything. Just nothing happened. And then when I checked the "Computer" tab I had 10 GB restored back.
Okay, so I think there's a chance that we know the problem now. It's might be constantly making backups.
Until someone can help find a permanent solution, I would just recommend monitoring your disk space and repeating the process whenever you feel it's necessary.
I do have a question…does your computer have multiple user accounts? My laptop has two accounts (one is for my brother) and I've sometimes wondered if maybe it's his account making backups or something (I have the backup feature disabled on my account, but I'm not sure about his account).
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Just to be sure that it's the backup feature that's causing the decrease in disk space (and not something else), I would also recommend waiting for a day or two (or however long it takes) to see if the disk space continues to decrease. If it does, repeat the cleaning process and see if the space frees up again.