Do you wish to learn how to delete Time Machine backups as your storage is full? Time Machine saved the backups on the external drive, and there are times when you want it clear. If you do not know how to delete Time Machine backups, here is the solution for you. This blog post covers the simple method explaining how to delete backups from a Time Machine. First, let us find out what it is and how it operates.

  1. Time Machine Backup For Macbook Pro
  2. Best Time Machine Backup Drive For Mac
  3. Time Machine Backup For Macbook Pro
  4. How To Set Up Time Machine
  5. What Is A Time Machine Backup For Mac
  6. Time Machine Backup Failed

What Is a Time Machine Backup In Mac?

Time Machine is the in-built feature of Mac, which helps in taking automatic backups. Time Machine backup can help you keep a complete backup of the system files, apps, emails, photos, and other documents. If the Time Machine is turned on, it will automatically take backups of your system. This backup is helpful when you face a system crash or need to look at the old backups. These backups are all saved up in an external device. It can be anything from a USB, Thunderbolt, FireWire drive. Whenever the disk is full, Time Machine deletes the oldest backups. It will regularly keep a backup of the past 24 hours, which is done on an automatic hourly process. It can keep up the backup for each day in a month as well.

The backup disk is unavailable or can’t be found or “mounted” If Time Machine on your Mac can’t find your backup disk. If you need a password to unlock your backup disk on Mac. When you backup temporary files, Time Machine backup fails repeatedly. Therefore, to fix this issue, you need to clean up these files. To do this, follow the steps below: 1. Turn off the Time Machine. To do so click Apple logo System Preferences and look for the Time Machine tab. Here, uncheck the Back Up Automatically option. The inbuilt Time-machine backup feature on the Mac operating system stores a copy of the most recent data and can be searched very easily. It is stored on your external backup disk; Search it in the path: Apple menu - System preferences - TimeMachine; Part 2. How to Backup with Time Machine. For Time Machine backups, it's good to use a drive that has at least twice the storage capacity of your Mac. Free up storage on your Mac. MacOS can save space by storing your content in the cloud. This isn't a backup, but it includes new tools to make it easier to find and remove large or unwanted files before you make a backup. External drive connected to your Mac. Time Machine can back up to an external drive connected to.

How To Delete Backups From Time Machine?

Step 1: Open Menu Bar and then go to the Time Machine icon.

In case you do not see the Time Machine icon on the menu bar, it might not have been added there. No worries, go to the Apple Menu.

Here you can click on the System Preferences.

Now you can easily view the Time Machine icon.


To add a Time Machine icon on the Menu bar, right-click the option to “ Show Time Machine in Menu bar.”


Go to the menu bar; click on GO. Now you will see the multiple options in the drop-down menu.

Click on Applications.

Step 2: As you will view the Time Machine, you need to click on it.

This will instantly open up the Time Machine application for you, and you will be able to see the old backups on Mac.

Step 3: Once you have opened the backup on Time Machine, you can proceed to the next step. This is how to delete the Time Machine backups, using the Finder.

Step 4: Finder will help you clear the Time Machine backup and make space on the external drive. It lets you delete files and folders individually, but they have to be in the Backups.backupdb folder. Other items can not be deleted individually, so you have to delete the backups from Time Machine entirely.

Note: Do not use any other app like Terminal to delete backups from the Backups.backupdb folder.

Time Machine Backup For Macbook Pro

Remember, if you are trying to make space in the external drive, and that is the reason behind clearing the old backups, you can reduce the storage. This can be done before the backup of Time Machine. One must always clear the junk and duplicates present on the storage. This will help you to keep an organized backup on Time Machine as well.

We suggest using Disk Clean Pro, a Mac cleaning application at the most affordable rate ever. This is a must-have cleaning app for your Mac, which gives you some amazing features to optimize Mac. It runs a complete scan of the disk on Mac and then shows the junk, duplicates, old downloads, and other miscellaneous data like mail downloads. This will help you clear out much space on your Mac, and thus, when the Time Machine backup is formed; it will not be cluttered. Thus, making more space in the external drive to use.


Best Time Machine Backup Drive For Mac

When you are willing to clear the external drive space, you learn how to delete backups from Time Machine. This simple procedure will help you in deleting the unnecessary backups. If you are clearing your Mac for unwanted data, using DiskClean Pro also proves to be a great help. It will reduce the files uploaded in the backup for Time Machine. Download it now on Mac to keep it clutter-free.

We hope that this method helps you understand how to delete Time Machine backups on Mac. We would like to know your views on this post to make it more useful. Your suggestions and comments are welcome in the comment section below. Share the information with your friends and others by sharing the article on social media.


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/Mac Tips /What Does Time Machine Backup? The Ultimate Guide

Time Machine uses a unique method that mimics complete backups after creating a copy for modified files at hourly intervals. Time Machine runs like clockwork without manual upkeep or fuss. It only duplicates a file if altered, but this generates snapshots for every backup with hard links for each item on the backed-up drive.

But the stark contrast with proprietary backup tools is that it not only mothballs spare duplicates of all files but also memorizes how your Mac looked on any day-so you can walk back in time. But exactly what does time machine backup? At the outset, Time Machine does not back up everything, unlike duplication-centered solutions like MacDaddy.

Article GuidePart 1: What Is The Scope of Apple’s Time Machine Back UpPart 2: What Does Time Machine Backup Files?Part 3: Other Alternatives to Backup FilesPart 4: Final Thoughts

People Also Read:How to Backup Mac and Why It Is Important to Do SoHow to Remove Old Backup Files from Mac?

Part 1: What Is The Scope of Apple’s Time Machine Back Up

About Time Machine

Time Machine uses a hard link that mimics and behaves like a separate clone of a file accessible via the Finder or Terminal. The hard link keeps the file extent uniquely once on a drive. Each instance of the file presents a link to that one special version. They’re removable without purging the original until you remain with one link.

The hard-link system benefits include intuitive navigation via Finder, and also a simple approach of reinstating a snapshot even without extra operations. It also allows you to delete snapshots without banishing data associated with other backups.

In case you inadvertently remove your recovery partition and you want to restore it back, you need to regenerate it. Restore everything, reinstall macOS and then load on everything with Time Machine.

Excluded Files

Contrary to the popular opinion that Time Machine backs up everything, it excludes a variety of files based on ecosystem rules. Accordingly, this nomenclature rules out cache files, log files, junk, and certain app settings.

iMyMac Mac Cleaner-The Must-Have Instrument for Cleanup

Unlike Time Machine, cloud services garbage down junk files and eat up precious space. iMyMac offers thoroughbred cleanup and optimization tools to keep clutter at bay. It zeroes in on system junk like broken links, cache files and vestiges of uninstalled apps.

You only need to run regular scans and farm out all types of redundant content. iCloud’s 5GB storage space will be filled to the brim quickly if you allow junk files to claim gigabytes of room. Mac Cleaner is a safe pair of hands and a preventative measure to salvage hard disk space.

Time Machine Backup For Macbook Pro

It’s the go-to all-in-one system maintenance software to breeze through cleanup and wipe out all types of clutter. It comes with a Free Trial to erase a host of files excluded from Apple’s Time Machine backup. Install it to remove junk that may end up in your backups.

Temporary and system-specific files fall outside Apple’s Time Machine. By default, it does not back up:

  • System log files
  • Spotlight indexes
  • All types of cache files
  • Trash contents
  • Temporary files

It applies to all lineups of Mac OS X equipped with Time Machine.

Part 2: What Does Time Machine Backup Files?

Time Machine comes in handy for pre-update backup. So how to back up your Mac with Time Machine? Below are the steps:

Step 1. Plug-in An External Storage As Time Machine Backup Disk

Plug in an external storage like a USB or Thunderbolt drive. Check whether you have a backup disk sanctioned by Apple for use with Time Machine.

When you plug in the drive, you should encounter a prompt to use it as your Time Machine backup disk. If you don’t see it, navigate to Apple menu > System Preferences > Time Machine.

Step 2. Check the Back Up Automatically

Check the Back Up Automatically field. Hit Select Backup Disk.

Step 3. Highlight the Disk You Wish to Use

Highlight the disk you wish to use. To bolster the backup, check the field to Encrypt backups, but it adds the time taken to get the job done. Finally, hit Use Disk. After you configure a backup disk, Time Machine kicks off automatic data back up without diminishing workflow efficiency.

To launch a manual Time Machine backup, go to the menu bar and click the Time Machine icon. Highlight Back Up Now in the menu. Time Machine backs up everything from soups to nuts. For instance, Time Machine will do a fresh install of specific apps, folders, and handpicked files. As long as you know where to find your files on your HDD, you can create a backup.

Part 3: Other Alternatives to Backup Files

Duplication Tools

How To Set Up Time Machine

Duplication-based tools like CCC, MacDaddy, and SuperDuper will back up literally everything. However, these tools lock out some files by default like temporary or system-specific files recommended for exclusion by Apple. Look for a trouble-free experience to create a full backup or clone. They come in handy for generating bootable clones for a backup system. You can create precise copies of your hard drive, Mac OS X startup drive, or Apple iPod.



If you have upgraded your iCloud storage, it’s a good option to backup troves of data. You can select Desktop and Documents folder, Mail, Pages, and Numbers. It’s helpful for Mac users with more than one Apple device.

Apart from iCloud, you can use Dropbox, Google Drive, and other cloud backup solutions. They allow you to share files or storing collaborative data but we wouldn’t recommend them to back up all your files. You wouldn’t easily extract a clone on your computer if you lose it. You could have a downloadable disc image of your system in the cloud.

Part 4: Final Thoughts

Apple preinstalls its backup software, Time Machine in macOS. It’s pretty easy to use armed with an external storage source, hard drive, or SSD to do the trick. Time Machine not only backs up your Mac but also generates incremental copies so you can retrieve an earlier version of a file if you need it.

You may want to set up Time Machine on NAS drive to back up wirelessly, but it runs at a snail’s gallop. Alternative backup software with a clever mix of features puts Apple’s tool in the shade because you can use it to boot from another Mac.

I hope you now know the answer to the question-what does time machine backup.


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