borg delete

borg [common options] delete [options] [REPOSITORY_OR_ARCHIVE] [ARCHIVE...]

positional arguments


repository or archive to delete


archives to delete

optional arguments

-n, --dry-run

do not change repository


output verbose list of archives

-s, --stats

print statistics for the deleted archive


delete only the local cache for the given repository


force deletion of corrupted archives, use --force --force in case --force does not work.


keep the local security info when deleting a repository


work slower, but using less space

-c SECONDS, --checkpoint-interval SECONDS

write checkpoint every SECONDS seconds (Default: 1800)

Common options

Archive filters — Archive filters can be applied to repository targets.

-P PREFIX, --prefix PREFIX

only consider archive names starting with this prefix. (deprecated)

-a GLOB, --glob-archives GLOB

only consider archive names matching the glob. sh: rules apply (without actually using the sh: prefix), see “borg help patterns”.

--sort-by KEYS

Comma-separated list of sorting keys; valid keys are: timestamp, archive, name, id; default is: timestamp

--first N

consider first N archives after other filters were applied

--last N

consider last N archives after other filters were applied


This command deletes an archive from the repository or the complete repository.

Important: When deleting archives, repository disk space is not freed until you run borg compact.

When you delete a complete repository, the security info and local cache for it (if any) are also deleted. Alternatively, you can delete just the local cache with the --cache-only option, or keep the security info with the --keep-security-info option.

When in doubt, use --dry-run --list to see what would be deleted.

When using --stats, you will get some statistics about how much data was deleted - the “Deleted data” deduplicated size there is most interesting as that is how much your repository will shrink. Please note that the “All archives” stats refer to the state after deletion.

You can delete multiple archives by specifying a shell pattern to match multiple archives using the --glob-archives GLOB option (for more info on these patterns, see borg help patterns).

To avoid accidentally deleting archives, especially when using glob patterns, it might be helpful to use the --dry-run to test out the command without actually making any changes to the repository.


# delete a single backup archive:
$ borg delete /path/to/repo::Monday
# actually free disk space:
$ borg compact /path/to/repo

# delete all archives whose names begin with the machine's hostname followed by "-"
$ borg delete --glob-archives '{hostname}-*' /path/to/repo

# delete all archives whose names contain "-2012-"
$ borg delete --glob-archives '*-2012-*' /path/to/repo

# see what would be deleted if delete was run without --dry-run
$ borg delete --list --dry-run -a '*-May-*' /path/to/repo

# delete the whole repository and the related local cache:
$ borg delete /path/to/repo
You requested to completely DELETE the repository *including* all archives it contains:
repo                                 Mon, 2016-02-15 19:26:54
root-2016-02-15                      Mon, 2016-02-15 19:36:29
newname                              Mon, 2016-02-15 19:50:19
Type 'YES' if you understand this and want to continue: YES