delete files from time machine.

Discussion in 'macOS' started by ivnj, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. ivnj macrumors 65816

    Dec 8, 2006
    I have a problem. Want to delete files of "tmb" time macjine backup. Relaunch finder and reboot nothing. Same error.

    "The operation can't be completed because backup items can't be modified."

    Can't delete. Want to free space so more room for backups in the future and renoved it from desktop so it won't bakcup anymore. But I can't delete it.

    I got 3tb hd for future. Just need to delete time machine some folders in the backup and can't. I can delete whole backups in control panel. But I don't want to rid of whole thing just few folders and keep the rest of the backup folder.
  2. benwiggy, Dec 22, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2012

    benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    Firstly, I would generally advise not to tinker with TM. Problems often seem to start after it has been altered, adapted, modified, etc.
    TM will delete old backups when there is no more space. If you have a 3TB drive, then you are going to have a considerable sequence of backup snapshots.

    If you really want to delete ALL instances of certain files from the backup, go into Time Machine app and use the "Action" icon in the Toolbar. There is an option to remove it from the backup there.
  3. ivnj thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dec 8, 2006
    I'd like to keep the 3tb for general backup. and use 500gb for time machine.

    Anyhow I don't want to delete old backups so to make space I just want to delete certain files. So I don't have to wory about running out of space.

    What if I opened another mac or pc and manually deleted some files (not the whole backup??
  4. switon macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2012
    RE: TM and links...

    Hi ivnj,

    I concur with benwiggy, the last thing you want to do is manually delete some files from your backup. TM uses a clever scheme of links to perform its magic, and unless one really understands hard and symbolic links and what they do and how they differ, then just deleting some files can mess things up.

    One must recognize that there is only one copy of a file when viewing the Time Machine "star wars" interface, even though it appears that the file is on every "time slice" of the backup, making it appear that there might be 30 to 50 or more copies of the file, actually there is only a single copy with links making it appears on all of those "time slices".

    benwiggy gave you the correct solution for deleting particular files from the backup. Please follow his suggestion.

  5. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    Then I would suggest partitioning the 3TB drive with a 500Gb partition for Time Machine.

    As I said, delete them from INSIDE the Time Machine application, not from the Finder or Terminal.

    Then you would hose your whole backup, most likely.
  6. ivnj thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dec 8, 2006

    Right click where sorry I'm not following you?? In control panel or on files in drive it self??

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