Time Machine

toliy253

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 25, 2009
51
0
If you remove a file from your mac, will time machine update it self and also remove it from the external drive? Or does it save and keep everything?

Also if it saves everything is there a way to go back and delete something, for instance some files that you don't need on your desktop.

Thank you in advance for your responses, I appreciate it.
 

Penn Jennings

macrumors 6502
Apr 22, 2010
350
48
Michigan
If you remove a file from your mac, will time machine update it self and also remove it from the external drive? Or does it save and keep everything?

Also if it saves everything is there a way to go back and delete something, for instance some files that you don't need on your desktop.

Thank you in advance for your responses, I appreciate it.
Time Machine keeps everything. If the file existed during a backup on any given date, the file will remain for that date. It will eventually age off though as you run out of space.

Keep this in mind though. It's really only weekly backups that get stored a long time. The other backups age out after 24 hours, or 7 days. If your file didn't exist during the backup that TM keeps as a weekly, it will age out after 7 days.

I'm assuming that you are concerned about space. If you don't want someone recovering a file due to security reasons (Like deleting tax returns) I don't have a good answer for you. I wouldn't muck the actual backups. I personally would be too afraid of one day finding out that I rendered the TM backups useless.

I hope this helps.
 

Brian33

macrumors 6502a
Apr 30, 2008
832
70
USA (Virginia)
When you remove a file from your Mac, the file is still in Time Machine (assuming it was around long enough to be backed up). TM will keep the file until every backup that contains it has expired. Then it is removed from TM. You don't have to do anything and it will eventually be deleted from the backup drive.

For your second question, yes, you can go into TM and tell it to delete all backed-up copies of a file. Open TM (Applications-->Time Machine.app), navigate to the file you want to delete, right-click it and select "Delete all backups of ..."

I presume one might do this for a large file to reclaim hard disk space on the backup drive, or for any file with sensitive or private information to prevent access by others. (But, I would not assume the data is securely wiped -- i.e. it would probably be recoverable using computer forensic techniques.)
 
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