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HT1427: Mac Basics: Time Machine backs up your Mac

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HT1427 Deleting Laptop Files with Time Machine

232 Views 2 Replies Latest reply: Jun 20, 2012 6:29 AM by BobHarris RSS
Sonic Monkey Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Jun 19, 2012 7:51 PM

Is it OK to delete excess files from my laptop now that they are on the external back up drive using toime machine?

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • Niel Level 10 Level 10 (234,480 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 19, 2012 7:58 PM (in response to Sonic Monkey)

    No. If you do that and the Time Machine backup drive runs out of space, they may be deleted from it. In addition, anything you want to keep shouldn't be on only one drive.

     

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  • BobHarris Level 6 Level 6 (12,505 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 20, 2012 6:29 AM (in response to Sonic Monkey)

    Time Machine is NOT an archive.  If the files do not exist on your main drive, Time Machine will eventually delete them from its backups.

     

    If you need an archive, then get another external drive, plus get Time Machine to backup that drive as well.

     

    You do NOT want your archive on the same drive as the backup because if the backup disk dies, you will have lost both the backup and the archive.

     

    If you need space on your Macbook Pro, then try using a tool like OmniDiskSweeper to find where all your space is currently being used.  Focus on storage under /Users/...  Be careful about touching anything NOT in /Users/... as it is most likely important to the operating system, especially /private/var/vm where you will find huge files, but they are needed for paging and swapping by the OS.

     

    If cleaning up stuff in your /Users/... folder tree does not give you the space you need, consider replacing your internal disk with a larger disk, or having your DVD drive removed and putting another disk in the DVD drive's space (there are kits for that, and companies that will do this for you).

     

    But DO NOT use Time Machine as an archive, it will delete the data eventually.

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