How to Delete Old Time Machine Backups

 20 July, 2020

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How to Delete Old Time Machine Backups

The Time Machine is a super reliable Mac application that stores copies of all files. So, you get multiple backups that you can use later in an emergency situation and restore your data whenever required. However, the continuous backups get annoying for users sometimes as they take up a lot of space.

Usually, the Time Machine app deletes older files on its own. So, thanks to the automatic intervention of the system, you don’t have to worry about deleting files and making space. The elimination process takes place when it’s time to make more space for new files. But, in some cases, you have to go ahead and manually take charge of the app to eliminate files and create storage.

So, if you’re here to know how to delete Time Machine backups, this article will help by discussing methods you can use to get rid of old storage.                       

I want to delete my Time Machine backups.

If you want to delete your Time Machine backups to free up the storage space, follow the methods below.

Method #1: Go to Time Machine

Time Machine

The first method is pretty obvious and easy. Using the Time Machine app directly to remove the junk you don’t need anymore is the common procedure which is also quite safe. 

Step 1: Go to the Time Machine app via the Menu bar, Spotlight or Launchpad.

Step 2: Look for the files you want to delete.  

Step 3: Click on the ellipses above the folder or file. You could delete the specific file by date or click on the “Delete All Backups” of a particular folder/file. 

Step 4: Enter your Mac password to confirm the deletion process.

Method #2: Use Finder

Using the Finder to delete folders/files is another quick method. However, it is only recommended when you want to delete all copies of a folder or file. The Time Machine app knows the exact location of your files. So, if you use the Finder and end up deleting the original file, you’ll lose all the other copies automatically. Now, let’s move on to the steps.

Step 1: Attach the external hard drive for backup to your Mac

Step 2: Go to the Finder and click on your backup drive. You can look for it on the sidebar.

Step 3: Open the Backups.Backupdb folder and click on the folder with your Mac’s name.

Step 4: Once the folder opens, you’ll find your files organized by dates. So, either drag a specific folder/file to the Trash or select them and press Command and delete.

Step 5: Make sure you empty your Trash before removing the connected drive; otherwise, the backup won’t free up the space on the backup drive.

Final Thoughts:

Time Machine is an excellent app to backup your Mac. It creates a backup of not only documents, apps or media files but also stores the versions of macOS. So, whenever you update the recent macOS, it will keep the previous version stored in case you want to roll back. 

Moreover, it automatically deletes folders and files, so you don’t need to intervene much. However, if you need to delete some data to free up space manually, one of the above methods will do the trick. 

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