Background Retention

In addition to applying a retention policy (short-term retention and long-term retention) within a job session, Veeam Backup & Replication performs background retention for backups. The background retention aims mostly at backups that are no longer processed by jobs (orphaned backups shown in the node with the (Orphaned) postfix). However, this retention can also be helpful for standard backups, in case backups are created by jobs without a schedule, the job retention has not been applied yet or failed for some reason, and so on.

The background retention starts automatically every 24 hours at 00:30, runs in the background and consists of the following activities:

  • Background basic retention
  • Background GFS retention
  • Background log retention
  • Backup cleanup
  • Deleted Agent retention


The background retention does not apply to the following backups:


Consider the following:

Background Basic Retention

Background basic retention process analyzes the retention period set for backup files. In the case of orphaned backups, Veeam Backup & Replication analyzes the retention period that was set in the job that created this backup. If the retention period has expired, Veeam Backup & Replication removes the backup files.

Background GFS Retention

Background GFS retention process detects backup files with GFS flags and analyzes their retention period. If the retention period for GFS flags of such backup files has expired, Veeam Backup & Replication removes GFS flags. Then Veeam Backup & Replication deletes these backup files according to the short-term retention policy if the following conditions are met:

Background retention job applies to backup files created by all types of jobs that use GFS. For more information about GFS retention policy, see Long-Term Retention Policy (GFS).

Background Log Retention

Background log retention detects logs whose related image-level backup was deleted by background retention. Then Veeam Backup & Replication deletes these log files.

Backup Cleanup

Backup cleanup applies only to orphaned backups. After the whole orphaned backup chain is deleted, Veeam Backup & Replication also deletes the .VBM file and the folder where the backup chain was stored.

Deleted Agent Retention

Deleted agent retention is a process that detects and deletes outdated backup files according to Veeam Agent retention policy for outdated backups.

An outdated backup file is a backup file for which no new restore points were created and no new backup job sessions were started within the last N days, where N is the retention period specified in the Veeam Agent backup job settings.

For more information, see Retention Policy for Outdated Backups article in the Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows User Guide and Maintenance Settings article in the Veeam Agent Management Guide.

Cloud Connect Background Retention

In the Veeam Cloud Connect infrastructure, independent retention is applied to tenant backups on the service provider side. The background retention job runs automatically in Veeam Backup & Replication on the service provider backup server according to the same rules as in the regular Veeam backup infrastructure. The service provider can also launch background retention manually as described in section Launching Background Retention.

On the tenant side, Veeam Cloud Connect repositories are skipped from processing by the background retention job launched automatically and manually. For more information, see the Background Retention for Tenant Backups section in the Veeam Cloud Connect Guide.

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Page updated 5/14/2024

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