Snapshot leaves backups on my server

Snapshot leaves backups on my server when it does automatic backups to Dropbox and Google Drive.

  • Predrag Dubajic

    Hi greenrhyno,

    With regular Snapshots you will see an option to select how many local backups will be stored, under "Frequency" section.

    By default it's set to 3 and the minimum you can have is 1.
    In that case your last backup will be kept on your server and when new backup is created the old one should be removed.

    Can you tell me which limit you have set there and how many backups are stored on your server?

    danielc You are referring to Managed Backups here which are different from regular Snapshots, can you please start a new chat with your issue so we can have a look at this.

    Best regards,

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello greenrhyno

    I've accessed your site and I see that you currently have 22 snapshots set up on the site. Most of them are around a bit less than 100MB in size "per single backup" (though there are smaller and bigger once as well).

    If the Storage Limit option is set to 400 for all of them that makes really big amount of space necessary. This setting is "per snapshot" (so 400 x 22 makes 8800 backup files in total) and refers to the snapshot files (backup files) stored locally.

    If a single backup file is e.g. 60MB on average that would make up to 8800 x 60MB = 528 000MB = over 500GB of storage required only for these backup files.

    The way backups are created is this:
    - first the files are picked up and added to an archive, which is compressed and created locally
    - then that archive file is being uploaded
    - then the plugin checks the "Storage Limit" value for this particular "snapshot" and removes that locally created archive or not;

    For example, with storage limit set to 3 per snapshot and two snapshots, you'd have 6 backup files constantly stored on your local drive.

    Kind regards,

  • greenrhyno

    Hi Adam,
    Thanks for the explanation. Yes, I have way over 500 GB on both Dropbox and Google Drive so that was never an issue.

    Predag said this

    With regular Snapshots you will see an option to select how many local backups will be stored, under "Frequency" section.

    and you said this

    and refers to the snapshot files (backup files) stored locally.

    but I just looked through the settings and to my reading, nowhere does it explain that a local version will be created, let alone left on my server. There is no referral to a LOCAL backup at all once Google Drive or Dropbox is selected. From what I could tell initially and from my reading now, it is referring to the destination drive. My understanding was always that the number of backups and any deletion of older backups would occur on the destination drive. If not, then what is the point of even setting a number of backups to keep- basically what you are saying is that if I only have space for say 5 backups on my destination drive, then I would need to go into the destination drive (lets say dropbox) and delete the oldest backup every single day?!??! In addition to that I would have those same backups just sitting on my local server even though I selected dropbox as where to have the snapshot backup to?

    Can you not see how this all makes no sense and is not intuitive at all in addition to not being automated if I have to go delete backups off of my google drive and dropbox all the time?

    I think either your explanation is wrong or the snapshot plugin and menus need to be updated to be more clear.

    Thanks for looking into this, but I don't accept this as a solution. I think if I select that I want to keep 5 rolling backups on dropbox that I should have to set that once, then anytime I go to dropbox I would have the 5 most recent backups and that no backups should be kept on the server after they are uploaded to dropbox. That would be the logical way this would work.

    I don't know what it is, and this is not the first time I have felt this way, but I feel like a lot of times when I need some support, the team can be very condescending and off target. I wish the attitude towards myself as a paying customer could be a little more focused and respectful. Sorry I may be reading responses wrong but this is the way I have felt multiple times including this one.


  • greenrhyno

    From the frequency section of the snapshot plugin:

    By default, Snapshot will run as many scheduled backups as you need. We recommend that you remove older backups to avoid filling your destination's storage limit. If you would like to keep all of your snapshot archives, just set your storage limit to 0.

    How do you interpret that to to mean anything but how many backups will be kept on the destination? How does that at all explain that these backups will fill up my local server?

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello Ryan!

    I understand your frustration and I'm really sorry for causing confusion here.

    The plugin works the way we - me and Predrag - explained above. The description that you're quoting in your last post is inaccurate and not specific enough. That's something that had been already reported to the UI guys and I should have mentioned in my previous post that it should be changed soon to give more clear and precise information about what the setting is for and how it works. I apologize for not including that information in my last message.

    Kind regards,

  • greenrhyno

    Hi Adam,

    Ok so the plugin is not meant to work the way it says in its own instructions? Do you see how I had my server filled up without any warning? I had to pay to upgrade my server because the first time it got full I didn't know why or where, just thought I was out of space and it is not possible to downsize the server once I upsized.

    Also, wouldn't it be better if the user chose a cloud destination that it didn't keep files on the server? Rather than change the documentation, why not actually make the feature(frequency of destination backups) useful? Is it not possible to have the plugin delete older backups off of the destination? Was I correct that I would have to manually delete older backups on a daily basis to stay at the number requested?

    It seems that my message/issues weren't addressed, you are just saying you will change the documentation to match the not very useful way you explained that the plugin actually works.


  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello Ryan!

    I understand your point, but I'm not saying that plugin is not meant to work the way it says in its own instruction. The plugin had always worked that way, it's the description for the option that's not reflecting properly the way it works. Since the plugin initial release, there's been a lot of updates to it, including some serious UI updates and the wrong description "slipped through".

    In case of "snapshots" plugin will "rotate" locally stored backups withing the number specified in said option. If it's set to one, it will only keep one local file for each snapshot but it will still keep uploading backups to the remote destination and won't remove previous files from there.

    That works in a bit different way with "managed backups" where the local backup is deleted after being uploaded to the cloud and it stays locally only if upload failed for some reason.

    That said, I agree that "snapshots" could work differently (I'm saying that from a user perspective, not a developer point of view as I do not know if there are any "technical limitations" or requirements related to this) and that's been raised with the developers. In face, I have just asked again if there is a reason why plugin doesn't "rotate" those remote backups and it doesn't let user to make it remove locally hosted copies after uploading them to remote location. I'm not able to promise anything here but I put this under developer's consideration again.

    Kind regards,

  • danielc

    Thanks for all the questions Ryan - nearly exactly what I needed to know! I have just disabled Snapshot Pro entirely for now and removed the backups. Server load dropped dramatically at the same time (mysterious).....

    Thanks for the heads-up about the remote storage - just went in and manually deleted them as well. Had not realised it was just dumping them there and not rotating.

    Will leave Updraft running for now and wait to see what happens with Snapshot and revisit it (and Automate) then.


  • 247web

    Hi Guys
    Any update on this very silly limitation that we cannot specify number of archives to be retained anywhere else but on local server or via scheduled backup. Why bother to allow backup to external drives?

    Nothing is listed in the "upcoming"/planned changes.

    If Updraftplus can do this in their sleep, whats wrong with Snapshot? James Farmer, help please! otherwise off we go to Updraft instead - such a pity but business is business.

Thank NAME, for their help.

Let NAME know exactly why they deserved these points.

Gift a custom amount of points.