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How to Delete Time Machine Backups

Backups in the computing world is associated with peace of mind. Each operating system offers us a system to create a backup so that in the event of a serious error on our hard drive, we do not lose all the information that we have stored on it . But this is not its only function. It is always important to make a backup when we want to install the latest version of the operating system that the company releases each year in case something gets twisted in the process and we had to start installing from scratch by formatting and losing all the content that we had installed or saved. on our Mac.

But also Time Machine is ideal for recovering files that we have accidentally deleted and cannot find them in any directory on our hard drive. The great advantage that Time Machine offers us compared to other applications to perform backups is that we can access the copies as if a disk drive were treated so that we can consult and restore files independently if necessary, something that we cannot do with any other software to make backup copies.

Apple makes available to all users the Time Machine application, a software that allows us to make backup copies of all the content that we have stored on our Mac. Time Machine has been installed natively in the latest versions of OS X, since its appearance in version 10.5 of OS X in 2007, baptized with the name Leopard . Time Machine creates incremental backups of files that can be restored when necessary. The main advantage it offers us is that we can restore a file, a group of files or the entire system.

Apple offers us several options when making backups through Time Machine:

How Time Machine works

As I have mentioned above, Time Machine is the OS X backup system, which offers you the possibility of always having at your disposal any change we make on our Mac . Time Machine performs a backup of the last 24 hours every hour, a backup of every day of the last month and a backup of every week of the last months. As the drive we use to perform the backup fills up, older copies are automatically erased.

Why it takes so long to make copies of Time Machine

If we have never made a backup in Time Machine, it is likely that the first copy will take several hours to perform, depending on the volume of files we have and what type they are. Backing up 20,000 Word files is not the same as backing up 20,000 songs in MP3 format. The main advantage offered by Time Machine is that each backup it performs includes only the files that have been modified or added since the last backup , hence when we have already made the first backup, the successive ones take a long time. less time unless we have added a lot of video files, which will always slow down the backup.

How to Delete Time Machine Backups

Step 1. Open Finder to delete time machine backups

How to Delete Time Machine Backups

Step 2. Connect the backup drive to your Mac

Step 3. Next, to remove time machine backups, on the left-side panel, under Devices, your drive will appear

How to Delete Time Machine Backups

Step 4. Go to Backups.backupdb available on the backup drive

How to Delete Time Machine Backups

Step 5. In that option, you can look for subfolders with the name of your Mac to delete old backupsfrom time machine

How to Delete Time Machine Backups

Step 6. After that, you’ll come across a subfolders list

How to Delete Time Machine Backups

Step 7. Delete the ones linked with Time Machine backup

How to Delete Time Machine Backups

 

How to delete a file or file from Time Machine backups

The process to delete a file from the backups is practically the same as I have explained in the previous section in which I have shown you how we can delete an entire backup. This option is ideal if we want to delete a file that has a representative weight in backup copies and that allows us to obtain extra space, such as applications or movies.

  • First, we will go to the icon represented by a clock located in the upper bar of the menu and select Enter Time Machine.
  • Now we must go through the window that shows us the last backup to the file that we want to delete.
  • Once we have located on the file in question, we must click on it and click on the cogwheel so that it offers us the different options that we can do with it. We will select Delete all backup copies of “name of the selected file or folder”. In this way Time Machine will eliminate any trace in all the backups that we have made so far of those files or folders.
  • OS X will ask us to confirm the deletion and will also request that we enter the password of the user of that backup, that is, our password.

Speed ​​up copies in Time Machine

Above I have commented that the first backup we make with Time Machine can take us a large number of hours depending on the content that we have stored on our Mac and that we want to make a copy of. Subsequent copies as they only focus on the new files the processing time is shorter.

If you usually make backups with this application you will have seen that we never know when the backups are being made because the system is giving priority to the execution of the applications and the general operation of the system, not to the backup, which in that moment is secondary.

On some occasions, we have had the need to copy a large amount of information to our Mac and we need to make a copy in Time Machine as soon as possible . In these cases, we can use a command that modifies the system preferences, giving Time Machine a greater amount of resources, so the operation of our Mac will be affected. For this we just have to open Terminal, and write the following command:

sudo sysctl debug.lowpri_throttle_enabled = 0

If you are using an older version of OS X, earlier than El Capitan and the previous command does not work, try adding the –w parameter so that it would look like this:

sudo sysctl –w debug.lowpri_throttle_enabled = 0

For OS X to make this change, we will be prompted again for the user password. Keep in mind that this command is reversible, we just have to restart the Mac so that the backup becomes a background process again