OS Sierra Time Machine

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.
Who is Participating?
Eoin OSullivanConnect With a Mentor ConsultantCommented:
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.
Eoin OSullivanConsultantCommented:
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?
xmouserAuthor Commented:
Yes, the external drive is full so I want to remove several backups from Aug/Sep - several days.
Get 10% Off Your First Squarespace Website

Ready to showcase your work, publish content or promote your business online? With Squarespace’s award-winning templates and 24/7 customer service, getting started is simple. Head to Squarespace.com and use offer code ‘EXPERTS’ to get 10% off your first purchase.

xmouserAuthor Commented:
OK, I've got it running at home now. Thanks.
Eoin OSullivanConsultantCommented:
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
xmouserAuthor Commented:
Thanks - I'll look into that.
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.