Backup retention limits rules to save space and delete old backups

First of all, congratulations on the plugin. It is very useful and I use it on dozens of client sites for backups, migrations, clones and I love it!

However, one feature that is sorely lacking for the sites I manage is a way to limit backups. I addressed this issue in this support thread:

On a basic institutional site, there’s no need to keep a long history of backups, so it makes sense that backups older than a few months are automatically deleted.

In addition, some sites have space limits on hosting. A 1gb website on a 10gb shared hosting can accidentally take up all available space and jeopardize new backups.

Currently there are already retention rules for scheduled backups, but they do not cover manual or automatic backups.

Finally, there is also an issue involving the remote storage of backups. It’s possible that I want to limit local backups, but have different limits for remote storages (after all, I might have more free space to keep an archive).

These issues have been reported as an issue other times in the support forum or in this feature suggestion forum:

Needs option to delete local storage before backup

Retention Rules

Automatic backups are not being pruned despite additional retention rules

Backup Retention

Also, I think the retention rules are a bit confusing the way they are defined today.

With that in mind, I took the liberty of putting together a mockup of what I think could be an alternative to these plugin settings.

My suggestion is as follows:

  • Remove retention settings from scheduling options
  • Create a new session targeting retention limits
  • In this session, clear instructions of what happens when thresholds are reached
  • An option related to the limit in terms of size
  • An option related to the limit in terms of age
  • The options that were on the schedule, now here (for the sake of organization)

It is also possible to replicate the same interface within the settings of each remote storage. This way I can leave my Amazon S3 with older backups while local backups are more limited.

I hope these suggestions are well received and would love to see them in action!



  1. Wiliam Koester

    I forgot to mention another very important point: including automatic backups in retention rules. Today, with automatic WordPress updates, they can end up unintentionally taking up a lot of space.

  2. Tony Cosentino

    I have had many issues with clients web hosting accounts filling up and email stops working due to upgradftplus automatic backups filling up their web hosting storage.

    Unless you take this suggestion seriously I am going to have to cancel my paid account and just use the free version to avoid the issue.
    I would prefer to keep paying for UpdraftPlus with global retention limits available like backupbuddy has had literally from day 1.

  3. miktosa

    Amazing how many people have been complaining about this for how many years.

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