Limiting the size of Time Machine backups

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by macizcool, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. macizcool macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    #1
    I hope this isn't an overly-asked question. After searching, I have found that many people have a Time Machine partition, so I'm guessing that's the only way to limit the size of a backup.

    I'm getting ready to help a friend setup Time Machine, as I believe it will be an easier solution for regular backups. However, I personally stopped using Time Machine a long time ago, in favor of ChronoSync, due to the lack of options offered by Time Machine. It just seems to keep backing up indefinitely, until the drive is full, and has no settings to delete outdated backup.
     
  2. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    It deletes the oldest backups automatically when the volume/disk you are backing up to becomes full.
     
  3. macizcool thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    #3
    So the only way to prevent the backups from using the entire disk is to partition?
     
  4. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    Just curious,

    I am constantly amazed at the thought of wanting to limit backups. HDDs are essentially free... my latest look had them at about $40/TB in larger sizes (2-4TB).

    What is the point?

    /Jim
     
  5. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #5
    Pretty much at least that is what I always do make a partition on the backup disk the size I want to give to time machine. Now if you wanted you can still use some of the space on an entire drive dedicated to time machine, I have done this in the past when moving stuff around and was in need of some extra space to put the files being moved.
     
  6. dinkyrdj macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2013
    #6
    As for the constant backup, install TimeMachineEditor. It's a free program that allows you to schedule when time machine runs. I use it on all my macs and it works great!
     
  7. macizcool thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    #7
    I suppose you're right, but I don't need 2TB of computer backups from my laptop. Plus, it's hard enough convincing a layperson to have an external drive with a backup of their computer... Asking them to have two external hard drives because Time Machine doesn't have a setting to limit the size is a stretch.
     
  8. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #8
    Given that disks are dirt cheap, especially compared to a Mac, why not let Time Machine have an entire drive?
     
  9. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #9
    In my POV, its simpler to just partition the disk and be done with it. TM takes care of sizing automatically. You may not want your layperson tinkering around with time machine or any other backup solution preferences anyway.
     
  10. macizcool thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    #10
    I'll have to ask my "layperson" friend :p if she's okay with backups taking over her entire drive. If not, I'll partition it for her. I just think Time Machine would be a good, automatic way for her to backup.
     
  11. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #11
    It's totally automatic. Time Machine saves hourly backups for 24 hours - daily backups for a month - and weekly backups for as long as the drive will allow. It automatically prunes the oldest weeklies. It doesn't matter if the disk gets full or not.

    I can understand (not necessarily agree with) partitioning a drive so that it can back up two separate machines, give it a certain amount per machine. But that's a rare need.
     
  12. murri macrumors newbie

    murri

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2014
    Location:
    Barcelona
    #12
    It looks like it is possible to limit the size of time machine backups via the MaxSize key in:

    /Library/Preferences/com.apple.TimeMachine.plist
     

    Attached Files:

  13. stormychel macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2014
    #13
    sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.TimeMachine MaxSize 768000

    will set a maximum backup size of 750GB (750x1024=768000)

    enjoy
     
  14. poiihy macrumors 68020

    poiihy

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    #14

    Very useful, thanks! :D
     
  15. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    USA (Virginia)
    #15
    Very interesting! This is new to me. I'm guessing you two are running Yosemite? I'm still on 10.8.5 Mountain Lion, and my com.apple.TimeMachine.plist does not currently have a "MaxSize" key, and my PreferencesVersion is "2", not "4". Perhaps this a new TM feature in Yosemite?
     
  16. umbilical macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 3, 2008
    Location:
    FL, USA
    #16
    that is not true (on mavericks I dont know in yosemite) I stop using time machine because I was sick of see how time machine DONT delete automatically older backups when the disk is full, so Im not on yosemite, now is fixed? Im good with time machine BUT!!! again the problem is that dont delete older backups, I need delete manually?

    I use CCC (carbon copy cloner) but if time machine delete older backup on yosemite maybe I back to time machine.
     

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