Delete Old Time Machine Files?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by MM07, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. MM07 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2008
    I looked in the external drive that I have time machine copying to. Is it ok to delete older files by moving to the trash? Is this recommended?

    However, I do only have 6% used of my 275 GB partition for time machine. Should I just leave them alone?

  2. toby jones macrumors member

    Dec 21, 2007

    I've heard that the (ideal) way to to time machine backups is to think of them as something along the lines of a library. When you have filled up one disk with backups then the thing to do is... Buy another disk and then start backing up with that one. That way you will have all of them there forever.

    That being said, how much do you want all of them there forever? I guess one could aim for strategic savepoints, but the trouble is you probably won't know which of them are strategically optimal until something (God forbid) goes wrong.

    Personally... I'd leave them be.
  3. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    delete old backups in the Time Machine interface by clicking the 'cog' wheel in the Finder window and click Delete this backup or delete all backups.
  4. danielsan1701 macrumors newbie


    Feb 8, 2006
    Well, that does work, but what a clumsy interface. And how about deleting multiple backups? Would it be terrible to just delete the backups from the filesystem on the Time Machine disk?
  5. RandomKamikaze macrumors 6502a


    Jan 8, 2009
    Time Machine will manage itself. Open Time Machine prefs, it will show you how long it will keep backups for.

    It keeps:

    Hourly Backups for 24 hours
    Daily Backups for a month
    Weekly backups until the disk is full

    at which point it will start deleting some older stuff
  6. ScotRobson macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2004
    Torquay UK

    Mine never deletes old backups. It just tells me that my disc is full. Why would that be?
  7. Flynnstone macrumors 65816


    Feb 25, 2003
    Cold beer land
    Mine said full , then said it will start deleting old backups.
    It only did that once.
    So it appears to delete old stuff and add new stuff, but doesn't say anything about do that now.
    Perhaps there is a log somewhere that has more detailed info on what is going on.

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