PDA

View Full Version : Deleting files off Time Machine help




JAYGEE
Jun 23, 2008, 06:35 AM
How do you delete files off your external hard drive, that you use with Time Machine?

I have deleted files off my machine, that I don't need anymore. I have kept them on my external hard drive, but when it is full, I'd like to remove the files I don't want anymore, but how do you delete them?

I have tried before, and I get the dates of back ups. I go on a date, but that doesn't allow you to delete them, and if it did, would I have to delete them off every saved date?

Thanks



craig1410
Jun 23, 2008, 07:23 AM
Hi,
Go into Time Machine - navigate to the folder/file you want to delete and then click on the little "Gear" icon at the top of the window (sorry not sure what its official name is). This will give you the option to delete that specific backup or all backups of that specific file/folder.

There is also a program which is freely available which shows you graphically (bigger rectangles == bigger files) the space being used up on your backup drive by files which no longer exist. I can't remember what it's called but I'm sure someone will remember. If not, I'll check when I get home tonight and post then.

Hope this helps,
Craig.

cptpower
Jun 23, 2008, 08:45 AM
craig1410; I believe that the program you're talking about is called "Grand Perspective"?

http://grandperspectiv.sourceforge.net/

JAYGEE
Jun 23, 2008, 10:39 AM
Hi,
Go into Time Machine - navigate to the folder/file you want to delete and then click on the little "Gear" icon at the top of the window (sorry not sure what its official name is). This will give you the option to delete that specific backup or all backups of that specific file/folder.

Will that work, even when the files you want to delete from your hard drive, are not on your Computer anymore? (I'm not at my main machine atm, so I can't test it).

jeremy.king
Jun 23, 2008, 12:01 PM
How do you delete files off your external hard drive, that you use with Time Machine?


This just seems like a bad idea - it's a backup. If you want to save space, consider backing up the files you really care about (or can't restore using other means) instead of a whole volume.

krye
Jun 23, 2008, 02:16 PM
This is a good post. I too feel like I'm wasting several Gigs of precious Time machine hard drive space on crap I don't want to back up. For example, I downloaded the iphone SDK. I installed it and forgot about the 1Gig installer that I left in the download folder. Now that got backed up somewhere. What a waste. Maybe I should just exclude my downloads folder?

craig1410
Jun 23, 2008, 02:21 PM
Will that work, even when the files you want to delete from your hard drive, are not on your Computer anymore? (I'm not at my main machine atm, so I can't test it).

Yeah, as long as you know where the files used to be you can go back to the latest backup (or any backup for that matter) and tell it to delete that individual backup or all backups. You can also do this in a situation where you want to keep the original file and delete all backups (eg. for a large file you don't want to backup)

If you can't remember where the files are then you can use spotlight to find the old backups and if you can't remember the name of the files then just use Grand Perspective (thanks cptpower!) to help you find where your space has gone.

craig1410
Jun 23, 2008, 02:26 PM
This is a good post. I too feel like I'm wasting several Gigs of precious Time machine hard drive space on crap I don't want to back up. For example, I downloaded the iphone SDK. I installed it and forgot about the 1Gig installer that I left in the download folder. Now that got backed up somewhere. What a waste. Maybe I should just exclude my downloads folder?

Yeah I exclude my Downloads, Azureus Downloads, DVD Rips(temp workspace) and my VMWare Virtual Machines folder. I backup any virtual machines manually every so often otherwise the whole virtual disk is backed up every time I open a VM.


This just seems like a bad idea - it's a backup. If you want to save space, consider backing up the files you really care about (or can't restore using other means) instead of a whole volume.

kingjr3, I'm not sure I follow you here - I think you may have misunderstood what was being asked. There are many occasions where files get backed up which serve no purpose as described above.

Cheers,
Craig.

cptpower
Jun 24, 2008, 12:11 AM
kingjr3, I'm not sure I follow you here - I think you may have misunderstood what was being asked. There are many occasions where files get backed up which serve no purpose as described above.

Cheers,
Craig.

For sure; case in point, I downloaded the developers tools at one point to see what it was all about. Played around with it a bit, but that's not my field anyways, so I didn't work with them too much.

Left it on my HDD though; completely forgot about it til I read this thread and thought to myself "what would I want to remove from time machine?". Realized that I still had these installed on my machine; removed them, and all their time machine backups, thus freeing up a bit of space on both my MBP and my external drive.

JAYGEE
Jun 27, 2008, 10:08 AM
Yeah, as long as you know where the files used to be you can go back to the latest backup (or any backup for that matter) and tell it to delete that individual backup or all backups. You can also do this in a situation where you want to keep the original file and delete all backups (eg. for a large file you don't want to backup)

If you can't remember where the files are then you can use spotlight to find the old backups and if you can't remember the name of the files then just use Grand Perspective (thanks cptpower!) to help you find where your space has gone.

Thanks. I have tried it, and it works perfectly.

Thanks again :)

m1ss1ontomars
Jun 28, 2008, 01:28 AM
craig1410; I believe that the program you're talking about is called "Grand Perspective"?

http://grandperspectiv.sourceforge.net/

Disk Inventory X is what I've always used. It uses the same library as WinDirStat and KDirStat, which I also use.

Jakk
Jun 28, 2008, 05:23 AM
I really want the Time Machine to have the option that I can choose which folder I want to backup instead which folder I don't want to.

Because for me, the amount of folder I want to back up is far less than the amount of folder I don't want to.

Let's hope Apple will put this option in the next release of Time Machine.

craig1410
Jun 28, 2008, 07:57 AM
I really want the Time Machine to have the option that I can choose which folder I want to backup instead which folder I don't want to.

Because for me, the amount of folder I want to back up is far less than the amount of folder I don't want to.

Let's hope Apple will put this option in the next release of Time Machine.

Hi,
I suppose you are probably in the minority here as most people want to backup the entire machine including all system and user files. I would have thought you'd be able to do what you want fairly easily by just storing the data you do want to backup in a directory tree all of its own. By default OS X only has a handful of directories underneath the /Users/<user> directory (8 folders by my count) so you should just need 8 exclusions leaving your one "Please Back Me Up" folder out of the exclusion list. If you don't want to back up the various system folders then again there aren't that many to exclude (6 by my count)

So, given that you can probably do what you want with 14 or so exclusions, I doubt that Apple would introduce a feature to accommodate this slightly unusual requirement directly. Apple have their "vision" of what Time Machine is all about and I think your requirements fall outside that vision.

Have you thought about using rsync with a backup script to backup directly to the Time Machine drive (ie. not using Time Machine itself)? rsync is a popular tool for ad-hoc backups and is very efficient.

Hope this helps,
Craig.

ps. To the OP - I'm glad you got what you needed! :)