MacMost Q&A Forum • View All Forum QuestionsAsk a Question

Using Time Machine to archive old files?

This must be a really dumb question! I have just migrated to mac, having started on an old IBM AT machine in 1983/4 ish – so with nearly 30 years of using a pc, I am finding the mac great – but a little challenging!
My question is to do with archiving files that I no longer want on the hard drive of my mac, but don’t want to lose. Can I do this with Time Machine? – I recognise that it keeps copies of files, but understand that it deletes old files as disk space runs out – will it delete all files that I have deliberately deleted? or will it merely delete old files where there are newer copies on the drive?
I am currently using a 300Gb external drive as my Time Machine back up for a 120Gb macbook
Julian Richards

Comments: 3 Responses to “Using Time Machine to archive old files?”

    10 years ago

    No. Time Machine is a backup solution. You should not use it to “archive” files. Time Machine keeps at least one version of all of your current files so you can do a restore in case of a hard drive failure or lost Mac. It also keeps some older versions of your current and recently deleted files so you can revert to an older version in case of a problem.
    But for archiving you should simply get another external drive and copy those files to that drive. You could burn DVDs too, but hard drives are cheaper and probably more reliable in the long run.
    A video that may help explain Time Machine:

    9 years ago

    Per the above, I have a 500Gb and a new 4T external HD. I will utilize the 500 for TM and the 4T for ARCHIVE . The 500 has become “full” and I used Drive Genius 3 to “duplicate” the 500Gb (archive .dmg) to the 4T. So far so good! Now I am trying to delete the 500Gb (dragging items to the trash) and receive “error code -8003.” Drive Genius 3 does not let me select the 500Gb to “initialize” other wise I would do that. Any idea what -8003 means? Any thoughts on zeroing the 500Gb?

      9 years ago

      If you want to erase the whole drive, just use Disk Utility and erase it.

Comments Closed.