Deleting old time machine backups?

happle

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 20, 2010
501
0
im buying a new top of the line 15" macbook pro within the next two weeks but i have a couple concerns regarding time machine.

1. how do i delete old backups to free up space without deleting any files that are on my computer now and the latest backup? for some reason i have a feeling deleting old backups will delete files that are on my most recent backup.

2. once i delete all my old backups and have just one current one, will i be able to copy all of my applications over without a problem, or should i just reinstall everything from scratch? im kind of thinking i might just copy my music, videos, photos, samples, etc over but do a fresh install of all apps, so that everything starts fresh.

thanks for the input. and sorry for all my threads lately, i just like to have all my **** together before i get the new mbp so i dont make any mistakes.
 

thundersteele

macrumors 68030
Oct 19, 2011
2,984
7
Switzerland
I don't think it's necessary to free up space on your backup disc before you migrate. It should only copy the current content over to your new machine.

You can delete the whole backup disc and just do a new backup. That's the easiest way to get rid of all the "history".





PS: Did you buy a laptop cooler? (sorry!)
 

DockMac

macrumors regular
Dec 22, 2008
184
1
to delete old backups:

1) If you don't have it in the dock already, drag the Time Machine App from the Applications folder into the Dock.
2) Right Click on the Time Machine App in the Dock.
3) Choose "Browse Other Time Machine Disks" and choose your backup.
4) You should now be in Time Machine.
5) Go all the way back to the oldest backup.
6) Click on your computer in the Sidebar
7) Click on the "Gear" icon in the finder window, select "Delete Backup"
8) Wait, wait, wait. It takes sometime to delete.
9) Repeat with each of the older backups.

WARNING: Do not delete old backups through the regular Finder Window. Do it through Time Machine.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,137
8,806
California
WARNING: Do not delete old backups through the regular Finder Window. Do it through Time Machine.
You can accomplish the same thing by turning off Time Machine then going to the Finder and deleting the sparse bundle file I have indicated (for my Macbook in this example) then turning Time Machine back on. Doing it this way from the Finder won't hurt a thing.

 

Badrottie

Suspended
May 8, 2011
4,317
332
Los Angeles
And can I delete Time Machine backup when I had Snow Leopard 10.6.8 during backup and now I have Lion 10.7.2 ™ still back up as well.
 

iThinkergoiMac

macrumors 68030
Jan 20, 2010
2,666
3
Terra
1) If you don't have it in the dock already, drag the Time Machine App from the Applications folder into the Dock.
How is this necessary to deleting old backups? There's no need to insert your personal preference into steps to accomplish a certain task.
 

DockMac

macrumors regular
Dec 22, 2008
184
1
How is this necessary to deleting old backups? There's no need to insert your personal preference into steps to accomplish a certain task.
This is not a personal preference. AFAIK, it's the only way to get this done. If you know of another way to access the Dock Menu of Time Machine, I am all ears/eyes.

You can't access the menu from the Menu Bar Time Machine Icon. You can't access the menu from the Application itself in the App folder.

The ONLY way to reach the "Browse Other Time Machine Disks" is through the Dock Menu. The ONLY way to acces the Dock Menu is to have Time Machine in the Dock. The ONLY way to get Time Machine in the Dock is to drag it there, if you don't already have it there.

(Granted you can do some terminal and plist stuff, but that goes beyond the scope of the OP. Granted, if the OP only has one TM backup on the HD, they can just go straight into Time Machine.)
 

happle

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 20, 2010
501
0
I don't think it's necessary to free up space on your backup disc before you migrate. It should only copy the current content over to your new machine.

You can delete the whole backup disc and just do a new backup. That's the easiest way to get rid of all the "history".





PS: Did you buy a laptop cooler? (sorry!)
it is necessary to free up space when my backup drive has only 4gb left and i plan on putting more stuff on it...
 

DockMac

macrumors regular
Dec 22, 2008
184
1
it is necessary to free up space when my backup drive has only 4gb left and i plan on putting more stuff on it...
if you are continuing a backup, i don't think there is a need to delete the old stuff. TM should delete the old stuff automatically.

if you are using the disk for something else, then you may need to manually delete.

TM will let you know if you are out of disk space to backup. if this is the case, you will need to delete backups as mentioned above.
 

xchaotic

macrumors member
Jan 14, 2008
84
0
The ONLY way to reach the "Browse Other Time Machine Disks" is through the Dock Menu. The ONLY way to acces the Dock Menu is to have Time Machine in the Dock. Granted, if the OP only has one TM backup on the HD, they can just go straight into Time Machine.)
I was just goin to say - if it's current machine, then you'd just enter the Time Machine, right?
 

Komodo9

macrumors newbie
Jun 28, 2012
1
0
This is not a personal preference. AFAIK, it's the only way to get this done. If you know of another way to access the Dock Menu of Time Machine, I am all ears/eyes.

You can't access the menu from the Menu Bar Time Machine Icon. You can't access the menu from the Application itself in the App folder.

The ONLY way to reach the "Browse Other Time Machine Disks" is through the Dock Menu. The ONLY way to acces the Dock Menu is to have Time Machine in the Dock. The ONLY way to get Time Machine in the Dock is to drag it there, if you don't already have it there.

(Granted you can do some terminal and plist stuff, but that goes beyond the scope of the OP. Granted, if the OP only has one TM backup on the HD, they can just go straight into Time Machine.)
Click on the Time Machine icon in the status bar at the top of your screen.

Hold down Alt/Opt on your keyboard.

QED.
 

MacCatz

macrumors newbie
Aug 20, 2012
1
0
But what if....

Thank you for the very informative instructions.

Now I hope you can help me with my blunder...

BEFORE I read how to properly delete backups, I deleted backups using finder. Now they are forever stuck in my TRASH and I am unable to remove them from the TRASH no matter what method I try (even secure empty).

Now, if I undock my backup drive, the items in the TRASH disappear. Therefore, they are still "linked" to my external backup drive, but I cannot delete them or move them back to the drive in order to delete them properly.

Help?
 

okbyus

macrumors newbie
Apr 25, 2017
1
0