Delete unwanted backups from Time Machine?

Discussion in 'OS X Yosemite (10.10)' started by kirkbross, May 8, 2015.

  1. kirkbross macrumors 6502a


    Mar 6, 2007
    Los Angeles
    I left some large external drives mounted overnight and (I think) Time Machine backed them up and quickly maxed out my TM drive.

    How do I undo this mistake to free up Time Machine space?

    Lastly, Time Machine doesn't seem to work very reliably in Yosemite and second. Mine only goes back a day or two but I did a clean install of Yosemite and started a fresh Time Machine about 3 weeks ago.
  2. Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

    Mar 10, 2011
    The way you tell if your external hard drives are backed up is to open a finder window on the Time Machine hard drive, then browse to the backups folder, then in the folder that is the same as the name of you machine and finally a date folder. Do you see your external hard drives listed as folders?
  3. Bomb Bloke macrumors regular

    Bomb Bloke

    Feb 12, 2015
    Tasmania (AU)
    If you do, then don't try to remove them using Finder itself; odds are this'll lead to corruption of your backup structure.

    Instead, open up the actual Time Machine interface, select the folder you wish to remove from your backup, and the little gear icon which shows up should have an option to delete it.

    If you check out Time Machine's settings (in System Preferences), you can also opt to exclude certain locations from future backups.

    Note that Time Machine automatically removes your oldest backups in order to make room for new ones, if need be. It (very helpfully) notifies you after it's gone ahead and done this.
  4. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    I concur, especially with the first part. In my experience, Time Machine is very fragile, so I would use the tools that Apple provides.
  5. idoccurt macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2006

    I use carbon copy cloner...that way you have a boot disk as well

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