Turning Time Machine off then back on to regain space

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by coldjeanzzz, Jul 13, 2014.

  1. coldjeanzzz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    #1
    Is this an advisable practice? I recently started using Time Machine since I now have an external HDD (never needed one before), but I noticed that on my Macbook Air SSD the section for "Backups" in "About my Mac" was taking up a lot of space. I found out that Time Machine keeps local backups on purpose, however I find it unnecessary since my external HDD is my backup and I don't want my SSD being filled up for no reason. So I discovered that turning TM off and then back on will clear up the space, however I have to do this every now and again as the space starts to slowly get taken up.

    I don't really see the point of keeping those local backups, does anyone else do this?
     
  2. romesk90 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2014
    #2
    The best thing to do is to turn local snapshots off, then delete the backup.

    Use this command to turn it off:
    sudo tmutil disablelocal

    The snapshots are located in /.MobileBackups if I am not mistaken. You might need to enable viewing of hidden files to find it.

    Then you are done. No more worrying about it and you use your time machine as usual :)
     
  3. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #3
    You can turn that feature off using the Terminal command romesk90 posted if you want, but you really don't need to. You can just ignore it and OS X will manage that space on its own and as your drive approaches 80% capacity the OS will start to delete things from that mobile backups folder.

    The bottom of this Apple support doc explains it.

    I like having it on so some backups are available if I am away from my backup disk. But if you don't need that feature, there is no problem just turning it off.
     
  4. romesk90 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2014
    #4
    For some people it does not make sense. It takes up extra space for one. If you have many small files, I find it lags the system at times (this is why I turned it off). I like to think more backups is better, but one on the local hard drive I see as pointless because a backup to me is for a failed hard drive at worse...backing up the data onto the same drive you want to backup seems to be risky IMO.
     
  5. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #5
    I understand that, and I am not saying everybody has to leave it on. But it can be useful. Say you are away from your backup disk and you delete a document then the next morning realize you need that document back... with local backups on your just enter Time Machine and restore the document. I had occasion to do exactly this with a deleted iBank document on one occasion and it was very handy.

    If you read the article I linked, it explains how OS X manages the space, so it is really not taking away any space at all available to the user for storage.
     
  6. coldjeanzzz thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    #6
    Thanks. I ran that command and now my backups are showing 0 so that's good, however I can't seem to locate the folder you mentioned. I tried doing a search for it in "Go to Folder" but it says the folder can't be found.
     
  7. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #7
    If you ran that command to turn off local backups, that folder is gone. If you turn TM off then on again it will undo the disable then you will be able to see the folder.
     
  8. romesk90 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2014
    #8

    This is not exactly true. The folder can still be there. It is best for OP to verify it is gone

    OP, if you can't find it in finder, you can locate it with terminal. I don't have the commands off hand but can get them for you later if you still need them.
     
  9. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #9

    No it is true. If you run that Terminal command it removes the folder. Test it yourself and you will see. Barring disk corruption issues of course.
     
  10. romesk90, Jul 14, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014

    romesk90 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2014
    #10
    It is not guaranteed right away. It delete it but not the same as manually deleting it. It deleted it based on resources and could take awhile to delete. Manually doing it will guarantee it is gone quickly and gone for good.


    EDIT:

    Since the folder shows zero, no worries it should be gone.
     
  11. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #11
    It does delete /.Mobilebackups right away and moves the contents to /.Mobilebackups.trash where it is deleted as resources are available. There is not need to manually delete anything. Again... test it yourself and you will see.

    coldjeanzzz was asking why he could not find the folder, and I explained that is because he ran the Terminal command already, which is correct.
     

Share This Page