What happens when Time Machine deletes old backups

Discussion in 'macOS' started by mrbiggles, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. mrbiggles macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2011
    #1
    I haven't had any luck finding the answer to this question. When my backup drive is full and it starts to delete old backups, will it still keep at least one copy of my files?

    For example, if it backed up all of my photos on the first backup, will my photos no longer be backed up once it runs out of space and deletes the first backup.
     
  2. paulsalter macrumors 68000

    paulsalter

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    as long as you have a big enough time machine drive, you will always have the latest version of your file

    eg, works like this (more to it)

    if I add 10 photos to my library in september, these will be backup up.
    If I change these once per day during the month I will have 30 versions of these stored on time machine and I can restore these pictures to any time during that month

    if I start running out of space, then it will only give me the last 15 days worth of pictures (as example)

    and getting to the more drastic, I will only have the last version of the file on backup if very low on space

    If will always (if drive bigger than internal) give you at least the latest version of the file
     
  3. mrbiggles thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2011
    #3
    So what would happen in this scenario?

    On day one I uploaded some photos. On day two I uploaded a huge video. Day three I edit the video and run out of space.

    Will it keep the photos and delete the first version of the video?
     
  4. paulsalter macrumors 68000

    paulsalter

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    if your time machine drive is bigger/equal to the size of you mac drive it would delete other files

    for the above, It would keep the edited version of the video from day 3 and delete the original (would delete much older files first though before it got to deleting this, photos if not edited would not be touched)
     
  5. johnhurley macrumors 6502a

    johnhurley

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    #5
    Yes it should keep at least one copy of everything.

    You can force it to start over and backup everything by erasing ( disk utility ) the time machine partition on an external disk ... then kick off a new backup by time machine ==> select disk.

    If you do something like that ... obviously your first backup may run a long time.
     
  6. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Orlando
    #6
    Time Machine will never delete a backup of a file that is still on your machine. Where you could run into trouble is if you accidentally delete a file or it becomes corrupted, and you don't discover that until it's too late, and the backup copy is gone. It's best to make sure that the backup drive has as much space left as possible, to avoid this issue. If you can't afford a larger drive, perhaps have some of the items you don't really need excluded from the backup.

    jW
     

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