Time machine backups

ca$hout

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 1, 2016
24
8
I've got a 1TB external hard drive that I use as both my time machine backup and external storage, being new to macOS I didn't realise that OS creates snapshots rather than add to the initial backup I think.
My question is what is the easiest way to trim all the old snapshots and just have the most recent backup?
 

BigMcGuire

Contributor
Jan 10, 2012
4,681
5,724
California
I've got a 1TB external hard drive that I use as both my time machine backup and external storage, being new to macOS I didn't realise that OS creates snapshots rather than add to the initial backup I think.
My question is what is the easiest way to trim all the old snapshots and just have the most recent backup?
Definitely listen to the above posters. They're far smarter than I am.

That said, if you're someone like me and you want to "reset" your time machine backup, just format the drive and turn off/on Time Machine.

I have 1 Time Machine hard drive and 2 CCC (Carbon Copy Cloner) drives of my MBP. I use both because I like the way both work. CCC will also do snapshots if you want it too, but I only have Time Machine doing snapshots. CCC also has a "Safety Net" feature that saves changes/deletions to the free portion of the disk and automatically manages space.

Like the above posters said, let Time Machine do its thing. It automatically manages space, will fill it up, and delete old needless copies as time goes on. Don't worry about the space of the disk - definitely reserve it 100% for Time Machine backups if you can, especially because it is only 1 TB.

My 3TB Time Machine disk is over 1.2TB full even though my MBP is using 200GB, because of the movement of data that I do, snapshots that are created, and what not. I enjoy what TM does (and CCC). Being able to go back and restore a file is vital for what I do and the amount of data that I work with. Snapshots are great and not a waste.

If you don't care for them, CCC does backups that are more like disk imaging (you can turn off Time Machine and Snapshots as well as Safety Net). Highly recommend that as well.
 
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mpainesyd

macrumors 6502a
Nov 29, 2008
598
121
Sydney, Australia
You will lose current TM backups and other data on the drive but one option is to partition the drive using Disk Utility so that the partition used by TM is, say, 50% larger than the current size of the TM backup. In this way TM will start to automatically delete old backups once the partition gets near to full. The second partition will be available for your other data and won't be touched by TM.
However I do recommend that you start using a second external drive for TM as well as the one you are currently using. In his way you have some redundancy if your Mac and one backup drive have problems. The second drive could be partitioned in the manner I have described above and once you have safely created the first TM backup on it you could reformat and partition the first (current) drive.
The great thing about TM is that it automatically alternates between the two drives so you always a recent and near-recent backup.
 

ca$hout

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 1, 2016
24
8
Thanks for the advice guys i think im going to get another external hard drive at some point and just keep this current one as a time machine one and transfer the files, just to keep it safe.
 

CTHarrryH

macrumors 68020
Jul 4, 2012
2,072
754
Sorry for sort of stealing thread but what does cleaning up after the actual backup mean - what is being cleaned up?