Windows 10: Encountering "Element not found" on File History Cleanup

Discus and support Encountering "Element not found" on File History Cleanup in Windows 10 Backup and Restore to solve the problem; Hello all, Setting up File History here, and I am encountering an error that I wanted to post here and see if there's anyone that can assist. I am... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Backup and Restore' started by MikeEEE, Jun 22, 2020.

  1. MikeEEE Win User

    Encountering "Element not found" on File History Cleanup


    Hello all,

    Setting up File History here, and I am encountering an error that I wanted to post here and see if there's anyone that can assist.

    I am running Windows 10 2004 and setting up a clean install of File History -- meaning no folders except for one with a file in it -- I get an error when attempting to run "Clean up versions" more than once:

    "Could not clean up File History data -- Element not found."

    (Note that the first time I click "Clean up versions" it results in a "We didn't find any versions of your files that were that old")

    FWIW I encountered this issue with a full install/synchronization of my files, but even when I reduce the configuration to a simple folder with a file in it this error still occurs.

    Is this a known issue? If I put more data/files in the folder and/or edit data that is in there, I still get this error. It makes me wonder if the catalog is already corrupt. Again this is from a clean install, already having wiped the FileHistory folder in AppData.

    Any suggestions/insight here would be appreciated!

    :)
     
    MikeEEE, Jun 22, 2020
    #1

  2. File History on/off status issues

    Hi,

    Thank you for writing to Microsoft Community Forums.



    1. Are you able to access your missing Email files on Web mail?
    2. Which drive was selected to set up your back up on file history?



    Probably the files might have been deleted when you perform the cleanup operation.

    However, you may try the suggested steps to recover files from file History.



    Restore files from File History

    You may also refer this

    Video link
    for more information regarding restoring files.



    Hope it helps.

    Muralidhar

    Microsoft Community Moderator
     
    Muralidhar_G, Jun 22, 2020
    #2
  3. Windows 10 File History Exclude and Cleanup interaction

    I think I’m stuck. I don’t think I can recover the space in File History occupied by the Outlook 2016 files without losing all the other files. So far as I can see, all files already in File History are treated the same, regardless of whether their folders
    have now been put into an Exclude List. So a Cleanup action which deletes Outlook files is going to delete all other files of the same age.

    This is what I have done:

    I have five user accounts on this PC, of which four have Outlook 2016 installed, and two of those have a lot of email activity and are what have filled up File History.

    I put \username\Documents\Outlook Files\ into the Exclude List for the four user accounts which run Outlook. I ran Cleanup in the two Outlook-heavy accounts asking it delete anything over two years old; I chose that time period because I want to keep everything
    (except Outlook) for ever, and I only started this backup system about 14 months ago when I moved to Windows 10.

    Cleanup reported that it found nothing old enough to delete and WinDirStat shows the Outlook files are still in File History. The Cleanup text says ‘all other files and folders, such as versions that were excluded or removed from your libraries, are also
    deleted’ so I had hoped that it would (a) delete old files from folders in the Include List (but it would find none) and (b) delete all files from folders in the Exclude List. However, it seems to have kept anything younger than the specified time, even though
    its folder is now in the Exclude List. I suppose that that is reasonable – you might want to keep old copies of files which you no longer want to backup – but that’s not how I understood what it says.

    I closed all user accounts and restarted the PC. No difference.

    What to do next?

    I could choose the most drastic Cleanup option and delete all versions of files except the latest, but I think that would leave a lot of Outlook files still in File History. And it would defeat the purpose of File History, which is to enable recovery of
    earlier versions of files.

    Is there no way to free up the space occupied by all the Outlook files?

    I could take my current backup drive offline and buy another big hard drive and start backups and File History on it all over again, without the Outlook files this time. Would I then be able to recover files from the File History on the drive I have taken
    offline?

    Any suggestions?

    I note that you seem to have to administer File History at the user account level. One of my user accounts has administrator privileges but from within that account I was unable to add folders from other user accounts to the Exclude List.
     
    Seamus O'Connell, Jun 22, 2020
    #3
  4. Encountering "Element not found" on File History Cleanup

    File History Drive Full - Now What

    Hi Don,

    File History drive usually contains older versions of Windows on your PC. To clean your File History drive, we suggest that you follow these steps:

    • Open the Control Panel (small icon view), and then click on the
      File History.
    • On the left pane, click on Advanced settings.
    • Click on the Clean up versions link in the Versions
      section. Note: The Clean up versions link will not be available if you don't have any File History versions available on currently selected drive.
    • Select the time period of versions you want to delete, and then click on
      Clean up
      .
    • File History Cleanup will now start discovering items for the specified time period, and delete them if available.
    • If it didn't find any versions of your files that were that old, click on Close, and repeat step 4 above using a shorter time period if you like.
      If the cleanup completed successfully, click on OK.
    • You can now close If the cleanup completed successfully, click/tap on OK.
    • You can now close the windows.

    Let us know if the steps above helped you to resolve your concern.
     
    Janeane Cru, Jun 22, 2020
    #4
Thema:

Encountering "Element not found" on File History Cleanup

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