Can you have other files on the hard drive with Time Machine backups?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Imola Ghost, May 22, 2009.

  1. Imola Ghost macrumors 65816

    Mar 21, 2009
    I was just wondering if the big ol' hard drive that I use for Time Machine backups, if I can store other files on there also or can it only hold Time Machine backups?
  2. sammich macrumors 601


    Sep 26, 2006
    Yes, you can use it like any ordinary hard drive. Keep an eye on the free space though.
  3. Imola Ghost thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mar 21, 2009
    Thanks, that's what I thought but I wanted to make sure! I'm new to Mac's [7-8 days] and have plenty of stupid question.

    Thanks for not making fun of me!
  4. MacManiac76 macrumors 65816


    Apr 21, 2007
    White Mntns, Arizona
    Oh we made fun of you...just silently...or through omission :p

    btw...welcome to the :apple: club :D
  5. JCastro macrumors 6502a

    Feb 12, 2008
    That is exactly how I use mine. It works like a charm. You do have to watch the free space though. It fills up fast. I don't know if there is a way to delete portions of your backups files and just keep the most current ones. I just deleted all of them and started the backup process again. Pain in the tail, but it worked.

    If anyone knows a better way, please let us know.
  6. Imola Ghost thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mar 21, 2009

    I was just coming back here to ask this particular question. I'd like to know if/how you can just get rid of some of the older backups. If someone knows I'd love to know.

    BTW, I love having a Mac and what I like the most about it is that things just seem to work without a lot of configuring.
  7. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    The first question is answered by the last sentence. :) "It just works". ;)

    Unless you need the extra space (which will eventually be used by Time Machine anyway), you should just let Time Machine handle removing old backups. It'll do it automatically when it runs out of space.

    Otherwise, you can get rid of old or unwanted backups by launching Time Machine. Then, go back in time to where you want to remove the backup. Select the file/folder, then use the "tool" menu (the one with the "gear" on it) to either remove the selected backup or all backups of that item (past and future).

    If there's something you never want backed up, go to System Preferences > Time Machine. Click on "options" and add the item to the "excluded" list. Time Machine will remove it from current backups, as well as never backing it up in the future.
  8. arjen92 macrumors 65816


    Sep 9, 2008
    Below sea level
    Time machine automatically deletes some back-ups. The most recent ones are in hours, but the more you go back in time, the more time there's between back-ups.
  9. leodavinci0 macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2006
    partition the drive

    If you partition the drive, TM will only be able to use the space you give it. After it reaches the limit it will start erasing old stuff. Meanwhile you will have the second partition available with the same amount of space always.
  10. mrdctaylor macrumors member


    Jul 14, 2009
    Yes, I ran into the same thing. For me, it was a desire to use the same drive for an Aperture vault backup. I ended up partitioning the drive to give 500GB to Time Machine and 200GB to use for the Aperture vault and other files. Works like a charm and no manual intervention will be needed. It is easily done from the disk utility, but it WILL delete your files when it repartitions.
  11. matthewscott661 macrumors 6502


    Jun 27, 2009
    I agree, partitioning is the best and easiest way to go. It's essentially like having two hard drives in one.

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