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How do I delete from my HD local back-ups made by Time Machine?

403 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Aug 21, 2013 6:36 AM by pwwwayne RSS
pwwwayne Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Aug 20, 2013 8:32 AM

Disk Utility shows I only have 102 GB Available space free on my 750GB HD.


About this Mac there are 240GB used for Backups (presumably made locally by Time Machine)screenshot_519.jpg


How can I delete these backups to free more available space (currently <15%)?


This article describes the issue but has no info how to get rid of it!!

MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.4), 8GB SDRAM; 750GB HD
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)

    They're supposed to be deleted automatically if your disk gets over 80% full.


    See if the free space figure agrees with the Finder (or Get Info).  The breakdown on the storage display is driven by Spotlight indexing, so if it's not caught up, or faulty, the display may be out of date. 


    The Finder should not count them as used;  Disk Utility does. 


    Also, the Storage display doesn't seem to be updated in real time -- if it's been on your screen for a while, exit and redisplay it.


    Just turning Time Machine OFF briefly should start the deletion process.  If your system is busy, it may take a few minutes.  In the meantime, the undeleted snapshots should move to Other, if Spotlight is up to date.

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)

    pwwwayne wrote:

    . . .

    Get Info in Finder says I have 342GB of 750 available!

    About this Mac Storag & Disk Utility show only 102GB free.

    That makes sense -- the difference is 240 GB, just what Storage shows for Backups.


    TechTool Protection says only 14% is Free. (86% full)

    That agrees, too.


    As for turning Time Machine off briefly, I am reluctant, as I am routing my MBP and LAN and to the Internet via 2 Time Capsules.  Will I lose access to internet?

    No.  All that happens is, the deletion process starts (usually very quick, but may take a while), and no new snapshots or external backups will be made until you turn it back on.


    Then it should start making new external backups, but only resume local snapshots when the drive gets below 80% full.


    Also it seemed to me that MBP is running slow

    There's a chance the snapshots are damaged, and TM is having trouble deleting them.  That could explain both their continued presence and slow respose.


    Take a look at your system.log.  If you don't know how to do that, see the tan box in OSX Log Files to locate it, then the blue one to decipher it.  Look for messages sent by the mds, mdhelper, mdworker (spotlight); or mtmfs or mtd (Mobile Time Machine, aka Snapshots) processes, or anything else dire-sounding, like "I/O error,"  "exited with code," "Failed," and especially "Throttling respawn: will start in 10 seconds."


    Copy and post anything suspicious here.

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)

    That's usually not a good idea.


    Among other things, if you ever turn TM off, when you turn it back on, it will start making them again.


    And if the automatic "pruning" is working properly, they won't interfere with anything, and will be available when your regular backups aren't.


    I'd recommend leaving them on and keeping an eye on the space; if there was a problem, it may be gone now and may not re-ocur. 


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