Time Machine question


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 3, 2010
I hv TM storage memory question and I make a simple analogy for easy understanding.

1) I stored 100 pics in a folder A in my com last week.
2) 3 days later I deleted 50 pics fr folder A
3) Today I deleted another 25 pics fr same folder A

A) Is the TM storing memory of 175 pics or just 100 pics.
b) As days goes by, I started to have many other documents and it slowly adds on day by day. Assuming my TM memory is insufficient, am I right to say the 100 pics will be taken out fr TM first, follow by 50 pics, and then follow by 25 pics.
c) I finally only like to preserve the last 25 pics because the other 75 pics is of no value. But it already store in the TM since last week. Can I remove the 75 pics so as to give sufficient space to store other documents?

Tks for all help


macrumors 68000
Jun 30, 2007
Is the TM storing memory of 175 pics or just 100 pics.
100. They will remain there until TM runs out of space. That's the whole point of TM - to keep backups.

Can I remove the 75 pics so as to give sufficient space to store other documents?
Not easy to delete from the TM volume due to the complex structures. Best just to get a TM disk that is large enough so you don't have to worry about space. But be sure to have another backup as TM tends not to be reliable.


macrumors 6502a
Apr 1, 2014
a) 100
b) Yes
c) No

TM keeps a backup of your computer accurate to the last hour, plus as much history of how your computer looked like as it can. For this it requires 2x to 3x storage as your computer, to keep old versions of files (so you can get files you deleted last week for example).

You would need something else if you want to pick and choose your backups. SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner or ChronoSync are common choices.

Or remove your folder from TM and back it up yourself, using TM for everything else.


macrumors 6502
Dec 1, 2012
c) Yes you can, may be a bit tedious but here is how

Easiest if Time Machine is shown in Menu Bar - tick the option at the bottom of the Time Machine System Preferences pane

1. In Finder - Navigate to the folder where the deleted items were, and make sure this window has focus
2. Enter Time Machine (Left click on the icon in the Menu Bar and select 'Enter Time Machine'
3. The Finder window will move to the centre of the display. To its right you should see Icons with Arrows pointing up and down, with a date/time between them
4. Click the Up arrow icon until the finder window shows one of the deleted files
5. Select that file as you would normally do in Finder, this is <filename> below
6. Right click on it, and you will see a series of options
7. One of these is "Delete all backups of <filename>"
8. You will get a message dialog asking whether you want to permanently remove all the backups of this and a warning that you cannot undo the action
9. Select OK
10. You will be asked for your Admin password - enter this

All copies of <filename> will be removed from your TM backup

Now, its quicker if in step 5 you can select multiple files. The message in step 7 then changes to "Delete all backups of <n> items" where <n> is the number of files you selected.

Edit: made it clear which system preference pane
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