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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Oct 06, 2009
    Time Machine and File Deletion
    I have just started using Time Machine... I use external hard drives to back up all of my home video, photos, music, docs etc, and thought this may be a great way to do it without having to do it manually. However, part of the reason I use externals is to be able to delete files (if not commonly used) off my computer but keep on the external for future use.

    My question is this. If I have files on my computer and they are backed up via Time Machine, and moved to the external HD, and then I delete the file off the computer and Time Machine backs up again, will it then delete the file off of the External HD?

    If so, how do you recommend I get around this?


    15" Macbook Pro... OS10.5... WD External HD

  2. #2

    McYukon's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 14, 2009
    Near Whitehorse, Yukon
    2012 MBP i7 2.7 GHz 15" Matte - 16 GB RAM - 120 GB Intel SSD - 500 GB DataDoubler Mac OS 10.9
    No, I'm pretty sure it will not delete the file on the backup drive.
    From what I read, it just keeps adding to the drive until it is full, at which point it asks if you want to start deleting older backups.

    In this article it says this
    "And while most demos of Time Machine are focused on the Finder, it's important to note that applications can be made Time Machine-savvy as well. iPhoto, for example, works with Time Machine: when you click on the Time Machine icon while in iPhoto, youíll be presented with a 3-D interface into the history of your iPhoto library. You can fly back in time, scroll through the library until you found a mistakenly deleted photo, and then restore it to your present-day iPhoto library."- MacWorld

    Mac OS X 10.6 Help: Restoring items backed up with Time Machine

    You can also find this out for yourself if want.
    #1 Make a folder with some files you don't need.
    #2 Let Time Machine run, check if the folder is on the backup drive.
    #3 Delete the folder on the computer and let Time Machine run a few times.
    #4 If the folder is gone after the Time Machine backup, everything you delete on the computer gets deleted on the backup drive too, if it's still there it does not.

    Hope this helps in some way.
    If not you can always try Google
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  3. #3

    McBie's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 26, 2008
    iPad Pro 12.9 latest iOS
    TM will not delete files from the backup drives unless it runs out of disk space in which case it will start deleting oldest backups first. There is a setting in the TM preferences that can warn you if TM starts deleting older backups.

    You can however manually delete files from the TM backups by launching TM and from the TM finder you can delete specific backups of files/folders. ( using the drop down box in that finder )

    Tip... ensure you have a full bootable backup as well ( using Superduper! or similar ) as this is more convenient should you ever need to do a full restore.

    Cheers ... McBie
    A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history - with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.
    The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.

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