Time machine questions

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by vmflapem, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. vmflapem macrumors 6502

    Dec 27, 2013
    Ever since i started using Time Machine, my storage was being eaten up by the system for "Backups"
    Does this Backups usage increase forever or does it eventually delete it automatically at one point?
    Now it's using 11GB already so I'm kinda concerned :(
  2. disasterdrone macrumors 6502

    Aug 31, 2013
    It will use all available free space, and give it back to you when you need it - don't worry.
  3. ecschwarz macrumors 65816


    Jun 28, 2010
    I'm guessing you're talking about Backups on your boot drive. That's your local Time Machine, a place where items and changes are backed up on your boot drive until you connect your Time Machine drive:


    There are ways to disable this, and the easiest is through Terminal (this works through OS X Mavericks): http://osxdaily.com/2011/09/28/disable-time-machine-local-backups-in-mac-os-x-lion/

    Disabling them means that only the most recent version will be backed up to your Time Machine drive when it's connected, or incremental changes if the drive is always connected. This was how Time Machine worked by default from 10.5 to 10.6 and a popular item to turn off to save space on Macs with SSDs.

    As for using space on your Time Machine drive, it will keep copies and changes until full, then start deleting the oldest backups first. This allows you to restore different copies of documents over time and even restore your whole computer from an earlier state. For being a low-maintenance thing, it manages itself pretty well.
  4. sarakn, Feb 5, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014

    sarakn macrumors 6502a


    Feb 8, 2013
    I used this method to partition the TM drive so TM does not use all space - TBH, I wish I didn't because TM is no longer displayed under Devices in Finder until I make it a point to enter TM then quit.

    Eventually, I purchased an external 3TB drive from Amazon and connected that to TM. I use that mainly for storage.

    Check out these links to partition TM and also reclaim free space so the correct size is shown:
  5. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Just ignore it. OS X will manage the space for you and when total disk space used reaches 80%, the OS will begin to shrink down the backups space used if you need it.

    If you want, you can turn TM off then back on and the space will be erased, although it will resume local backups of course.

    Here is a good overview of how it works.

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