OS Sierra Time Machine

Posted on 2016-11-03
Last Modified: 2016-11-04
I'm trying to delete a backup that is on an external drive. When I enter Time Machine and go to that particular backup I'm not seeing the Action pop-up menu for deletion.
Question by:xmouser
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Expert Comment

by:Eoin OSullivan
ID: 41873513
I'm not sure you can do what you want.

Time Machine uses an incremental backup method .. when you are browsing Time Machine backups ... you can delete files or folders. .. which in effect removes those files or folders from ALL Time Machine backups.

It sounds like you're trying to remove an entire backup from a specific date?  Is that correct?

Author Comment

ID: 41873940
Yes, the external drive is full so I want to remove several backups from Aug/Sep - several days.
LVL 40

Accepted Solution

Eoin OSullivan earned 500 total points
ID: 41873958
Not a good idea!!

TimeMachine is self-regulating as a backup system and uses symlinks in EVERY backup to reference the original or previous version of every file.  If you simply let TimeMachine work away it will take a bit of time but will just keep cleaning up the archive as it proceeds.

When the external drive runs out of space .. TimeMachine will automatically remove the oldest backups and modify all the symlinks in the subsequent backups .. you cannot chop out specific backups with TimeMachine as it can completely break the entire backup system.
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Author Comment

ID: 41873961
OK, I've got it running at home now. Thanks.
LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Eoin OSullivan
ID: 41874010
You might want to look at this tool Backup Loupe

Allows you to analyse your backups .. see what files/folders are taking up most space on each backup.

Often some temp files or cache files from certain applications can be wasting space.  You can EXCLUDE these files or certain folders (for example I exclude my Parallels VM folders)

I also reduce the frequency of the backups from hourly to 4 times daily as this meets my needs .. you can customise the frequency using a program like TimeMachineEditor

Author Comment

ID: 41874022
Thanks - I'll look into that.

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