A recent update to CWM touted the ability to perform incremental backups instead of full ones. Having performed those for a while, I find that I have quite a few old backups that I don't know if I can remove, since newer backups may depend on them.

Last time I was in this situation I deleted all of the backups and made one full clean backup. That, however, carries the risk of some failure before the new backup is complete. Is there any way to tell CWM to perform a full backup, so that I can safely remove all of the old ones?

1 Answer 1


Technically, CWM 6 isn't doing incremental or full backups. What it is doing is storing "blobs" that are shared between backups if the data hasn't changed between the two. When you run a new backup, it reuses what it can. If you delete a backup set, you don't actually delete the data, and the next time you run a backup, CWM deletes any blobs no longer in use.

  • So you're saying that it's perfectly safe to delete old backups? Is that what the "freeing space" part of the backup does? Commented Sep 15, 2012 at 7:21
  • Yeah, from what I understand, the "freeing space" is deleting no longer used blobs from deleted backups. The downside is that you can no longer move off entire backups, though (the dated folder doesn't actually contain any backup, just pointers to the blobs).
    – ND Geek
    Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 2:24
  • Do you know where this is described? Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 4:40
  • 1
    Koush (the writer of CWM) described it on his Google+ account.
    – ND Geek
    Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 12:47

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