12366: Acronis Backup: Retention of Backups

Last update: 13-07-2017

How to set up retention of archives in Acronis Backup

This article applies to:

  • Acronis Backup (Acronis Backup & Recovery) 11.5
  • Acronis Backup & Recovery 11


Retention rules allow you to limit the backup archive size and set the lifetime for backups. This way you can ensure that backups do not fill up all the available storage space. Retention scheme depends on the backup scheme.

(!) Retention rules are effective if the archive contains more than one backup. The last backup in the archive will be kept even if a retention rule violation is detected.

(!) Retention rules cannot be applied when using simplified archive naming. Instead you can use batch files for managing backup files. See Acronis Backup & Recovery 10: Simplified Archive Naming and Using Batch Files in Acronis True Image.


Retention rules can be specified for Simple, Grandfather-Father-Son, Tower of Hanoi and Custom backup schemes.

(!) The retention rules logic assumes that the storage device capacity is much more than the average backup size and the maximum archive size does not come close to the physical storage capacity, but leaves a reasonable reserve (e.g. if average backup size is 95GB, do not store it on 100GB hard drive). Due to this, exceeding the archive size that may occur between the cleanup task runs will not be critical for the business process.