Time Machine is backing up every hour and I can't stop it! HELP!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by 1458279, Jan 23, 2015.

  1. 1458279 Suspended


    May 1, 2010
    I noticed my system was backing up a lot. Checked Time Machine and it had backups almost every hour and the setting screen says backing up every hour for next 24 hours.

    I see no option to stop this and it's set to delete old backups when it runs out of space, yet I don't see how many are being deleted.

    The problem is that if I need to go back to an older one, I'm stuck with only hourly new ones.

    Version 10.8.2

    The only option I see is to select disks/files or to turn it off.

    I certainly don't need hourly backups, even daily is a bit much but ok.

    My concern is also some kind of malware that would cause this in an effort to spread itself to all my backups.

    Q. where do you change the hourly backup or is it an option?
  2. Richdmoore, Jan 23, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015

    Richdmoore macrumors 68000


    Jul 24, 2007
    Troutdale, OR
    That's how it is suppose to work. It backs up hourly, then daily, then weekly as it needs to. It's only backing up the changes, it is not like it does a full back up of every file every time.

    From Apple's Web Site:

    Time Machine keeps hourly backups for the past 24 hours, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups. The oldest backups are deleted when your backup drive becomes full.

  3. igucl macrumors 6502a

    Oct 11, 2003
    Yes, that is how it is designed to work. You could always eject the backup drive if you want to stop it.
  4. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Time Machine should notify you when it runs out of space, before it starts deleting any of your old backups.

    Time Machine scans your computer hourly for any new or changed files. If there aren't any, it doesn't actually back anything up.
  5. 1458279 thread starter Suspended


    May 1, 2010
    Ok, thanks!

    I might have to buy a larger HD for backups. I took a 4T USB and split it up, so I'll have to go in and check how I split it up. Maybe an extra large backup spot would be best.

    Strange that I never noticed this before :D
  6. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Mar 19, 2008
    Warrington, UK
    It only backs up what has changed. If you've done nothing, it backs up nothing. If you've created a 5Mb text file, it backs up a 5Mb text file, nothing more.
  7. mooblie macrumors 6502


    Apr 23, 2009
    The Highlands, Scotland
    Try this:


    Works well for me.

    And BTW: you won't need "to buy a larger HD for backups" - TM automatically deletes old backups once the disk get nearly full. Whatever disk you use will eventually fill up with TM's content, and you don't need to touch it at all.

    TM will just keep the recent stuff, and progressively less-frequent copies of old stuff.
  8. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Just a suggestion:

    Have you considered trying either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper for backups?

    Both are free to download and try.

    It's a completely different paradigm than Time Machine. TM's operational motto seems to be "turn me on, I'll do the rest."

    With CCC or SD, it's up to YOU to create a backup, and what you get will be a completely bootable clone that looks EXACTLY like your source drive.

    If you find TM frustrating in its behavior, and you don't like the gigabytes and gigabytes of disk space that it eats up creating one copy after another after another after another after another after another (had enough?) of files you'll never need to access, try a cloning/backup app.

    You may be pleasantly surprised.

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8 January 23, 2015