Internal vs. Time machine drive size

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ConnYoungy, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2010
    I'm in the process of ordering a new MacBook and want to go for the 1tb drive upgrade and realised my time machine backup drive is also 1tb, will that matter?

    The reason I ask is that I can't remember if the time machine drive has to be larger than the drive it backs up or not?

  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    The actual size does not matter, only the used capacity does.

    If you have a Mac with a 1 TB HDD and 232 GB of it are used and you have an external HDD with 500 GB capacity, you can use that 500 GB HDD to backup the 1 TB HDD with its 232 GB used.

    Time Machine FAQ
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2010
  4. macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    The larger the TM drive the more incremental backups you'll be able to retrieve. So if you're in a position to fill up your primary, your back up will only hold one copy before TM overwrites.
  5. macrumors 68020

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC
    I personally don't understand the need to keep more than a couple of incremental backups. If my HD/computer dies, all I need is the most recent, and I can't remember ever losing something and not realizing it immediately and being able to get it from the most recent backup.

    I use Time Machine Editor to reduce backups to daily, so I don't encounter the problem of not realizing I'm missing something until more than an hour has passed.

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