Forum Question: How Do I Manage Time Machine Backups?

I just got an external drive for my Mac Mini and set it up as the Time Machine for backups. I looked at Preferences|Time Machine where it tells me the frequency of backups, and it says that it will delete old backups when the drive becomes full.
Given that it is a 1 TB drive, this will likely take quite a long time, so my question is: is there a way to choose how often to delete old backups, or is that even something I should worry about?

Comments: 6 Responses to “How Do I Manage Time Machine Backups?”

    10/7/13 @ 8:06 pm

    It isn’t something you need to worry about. Time Machine is smart. It will simply fill the drive, and only delete old versions of files when it runs out of space.
    Keep in mind that it only deletes old VERSIONS of files. At all times it will have a backup of all files — well as long as the drive is larger than the drive it is backing up, of course.
    So for each file you have at least one version: the most recent one. And if there is space then it will have multiple old versions of that file too.

      10/8/13 @ 8:42 am

      thanks Gary…as always

    Tom Kennedy
    10/8/13 @ 7:23 pm

    I have a mini with a 500 Gbfree external. Have other data in folders as we’ll. I manually trash the oldest backups once in awhile. Works OK.

      10/8/13 @ 7:29 pm

      I would definitely advise against that. The external should be dedicated solely to Time Machine. Putting other things on there will make it difficult for Time Machine to manage the space. Not to mention that you wouldn’t be backing up that data because it would be on the same drive.
      Worse is manually deleting. Don’t do that.

    John C Stires
    10/8/13 @ 8:36 pm

    How do I use a 2T drive to back up laptop and desktop?

      10/8/13 @ 8:52 pm

      I think you can simply use Time Machine and set up both backups to the same drive. Never tried that. But you can definitely partition the drive into two and use one partition for each backup.
      Or, just use the 2TB drive for the desktop and get another one for the laptop. Drives are cheap.

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