Reducing number of held backup folders

Discussion in 'iMac' started by enbt, Dec 8, 2016.

  1. enbt macrumors newbie


    Dec 8, 2016
    I've tried to reduce the number of individual folders held in my main backup Folder.
    Initially I move them to Trash (OK).
    Then I emptied trash but discovered we were talking over 3 million files. I thought this to be odd so I cancelled the emptying Trash process.
    Can someone advise how to remove older backups from my external hard drive as I only wish to retain about 1 week of back ups?
    Actually I'd like to back up only once daily(early in the morning) for a maximum of 2 weeks.
    Currently the backups seem to be hourly and are kept for a month. The matter is becoming increasingly important as I now only have less than 100gb disk space left on my !TB hard drive.
    Can some please advise how I can delete back up folders manually without much hassle?
    Ian Beattie
    Melbourne Australia
  2. chabig macrumors 601

    Sep 6, 2002
    Are you speaking of Time Machine? Never ever ever manually delete Time Machine folders. Think of Time Machine as a fancy database. If you just go deleting stuff arbitrarily you will screw it up badly. Time Machine automatically and intelligently uses the space on your backup drive without you doing anything.

  3. MinEderPlayz macrumors 6502a


    Aug 3, 2013
    Hamburg, Germany
    Also, don't ever use a volume intended for file storage as a Time Machine backup location. Time Machine will do just that, attempt to fill all the space on your volume with as much backup as possible.
    If you wish to assign a certain maximum file size for your backup database, partition your drive accordingly and do not mess with the filesystem of the backup volume.
  4. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    You can't. Like chabig said, if you mess around in that backup set you will break your Time Machine backup. It sounds like you have already done this. If you want to restrict the space used on the disk for Time Machine backups, you can repartition the disk to make one partition for Time Machine then the other for whatever else you want. Then Time Machine will only fill the one partition.

    Of course any data on the second partition could be lost if the drive dies since that same disk contains your backups.

    Even if you do not decide to partition the drive, since you have likely broken your current backup, I would at least erase the drive and start a new Time Machine backup.

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