Why is Time Machine not deleting old back ups.

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by gojipoj, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. gojipoj macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2014
    I have an imac and I have had a problems with accidentally deleting old backups and it takes forever for trash to clean it and not always successful. My imac is 1TB and i have an external 1.5 TB so there is plenty of room unless time machine just adds another instead of overwriting old backups or simply not deleting. Can anyone suggests better way I don't wish to have to go through trying to empty trash and taking forever. Onyx keeps crashing, I have 10.9.1 Maverick OSX, if you could do a step by step to avoid all this nightmare I would be grateful.
  2. aicul macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2007
    no cars, only boats
    I'm sort of confused why you would "delete" old backups.

    TM is designed to do the household for you, does an hourly incremental and keeps an monthly then deletes old backups after X months (cannot remember).

    Basically there is no reason for you to "delete" old backups.


    TO be clear, if TM is not deleting old backups it means that there is still disk space available and that they are still recent enough to be worth keeping.
  3. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000


    Mar 20, 2009
    Near London, UK.
    What are you actually doing that involves you "accidentally" deleting "old backups" and by "old backups" do you mean TM backups?
  4. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    That's not how you delete Time Machine backups. Do "Enter Time Machine", then it displays all the backups in the star view, and then you pick which one to delete. What you are doing is quite dangerous as you may have noticed.

    And as others said, Time Machine will do this automatically if it runs out of space otherwise. There is no need to do this by hand. Eventually your backup drive is full, you try another backup, and Time Machine will go and delete the oldest backups until there is enough space. Just by itself. No need to do anything.
  5. Kingsbridger macrumors newbie

    Nov 30, 2013
    midwest USA
    Time Machine won't backup because the drive doesn't have enough space available

    My particular problem is that Time Machine is refusing to backup because it says something like: "You have x amount size of backup and the destination drive doesn't have that much space available."
    So is it failing?
  6. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    Time Machine is designed to only delete backups when the drive or partition is full and only as necessary.

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