How do I delete old file versions? And how does versions work?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by KyleGP, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. KyleGP macrumors member

    May 3, 2011
    Hi there,
    I've tried to find an answer to no avail.

    Versions is an awesome feature, but I'm concerned about hard drive space.

    Where are previous versions of things stored and more importantly, if you want to delete old versions you will never need, how do you do so to clear out disk space?

    Lets say I have a document thats up to date but I wont ever need all the old versions of it. How do I delete those old versions or how do I delete only a few of them?

    Does anyone also know where version files are stored and is there also a way to tweak how versions works? Eg. have it delete old versions after a certain time or something.

    Versions is great, but I want to get inside it incase I need to make such changes to maximize hard disk space. I mean if it's duplicating everything, that could chew space massively.

    Thanks all!
  2. Arkanok macrumors 6502a


    Feb 13, 2007
    I actually don't know where they're located and stored, but as far as I'm concerned, most documents don't take up much space at all really, at least not to the point it would make a significant difference on my hard drive. But that's just me, I don't know if you or others work with really large documents.
  3. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Sep 19, 2003
    It doesn't duplicate anything, it saves delta changes only. If you use Time Machine, they are on that drive.
  4. mrapplegate macrumors 68030

    Feb 26, 2011
    Cincinnati, OH
    and they are not user accessible. You can't delete them.
  5. KyleGP thread starter macrumors member

    May 3, 2011
    So what if you did a *****-tone of document editing and whatnot but you didn't have a need for all those other versions? It's just a waste of space...
  6. mrapplegate macrumors 68030

    Feb 26, 2011
    Cincinnati, OH
    You can lock a document if you don't want versions saved for it. Only the changes are saved. The file size is minimal.
  7. Branskins macrumors 65816

    Dec 8, 2008
    In the Ars Technica review it says the system deletes old versions at some point. Also can't you enter versions and delete one?

    Like other says, it's just delta changes. If an image is 5 mb in one version, it is not another 5 mb in the next version if the image doesn't change.
  8. mrapplegate macrumors 68030

    Feb 26, 2011
    Cincinnati, OH
    Nope you can't delete them. Correct.
  9. Tom8 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2010
    The Versions changes aren't really going clog up your drive unless you're working on literally tens of thousands of documents, adding huge amounts of changes to each.
  10. theNEOone macrumors 6502

    Jun 28, 2007
    If it works anything like Time Machine, you can just go "back in time" and delete a previous "copy".

    Although I don't know if that paradigm applies to Versions. My impression is that Time Machine backs up entire files but only if the file has changed, whereas Versions doesn't save entire files but instead saves only the changes within files as delta updates...

    I guess the moral of the story is, we need some clarification on how this works...

  11. mrapplegate macrumors 68030

    Feb 26, 2011
    Cincinnati, OH
    You can't delete them. Not much explanation needed, you said it well enough.
  12. Beetle86 macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2012
    how to delete old versions

    You can delete old versions. Browse to the version you want to delete, then click the little arrow in the title bar (while still in the "space vortex" view) and click "Delete this version".


    Attached Files:

  13. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Versions info and how to delete old versions

    Most of the information you want is in an Apple Knowledge Base Document. It tells you how long versions are kept for and how to restore particular version and locked documents... What it doesn't tell you is how to remove all the old versions.

    The following is correct, but missing an important bit of information:
    If you hold down the Option key then "Delete This Version" will change to "Delete Old Versions..." and all you to clear out all the old versions.
  14. Partron22 macrumors 68020


    Apr 13, 2011
    It's easy to make the folder visible, but Apple's locked it down so that admin privileges aren't enough to open it.
    Likely it's a "Mess With at your Own Peril" type folder.
  15. Glenny2lappies macrumors 6502

    Sep 29, 2006
    Brighton, UK
    That is so utterly unintuitive. Goodness knows how many copies of countless documents are cluttering up the hard disc / SSD...

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