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  1. #1
    Time Machine question

    Member Since
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    Time Machine question
    I finally decided to start using Time Machine after having a MacBook for two years because I had a ton of HD video that was sucking up space on my internal hard drive.

    My question, and it may be dumb, is this: if I were, after my initial backup, to delete a file intentionally, would the file still remain on my Time Machine backups even after the drive fills up? Or would those files be deleted forever?

    In other words, does Time Machine always sync to your computer? Apple says that once the drive fills up files will be "intelligently deleted". So if I delete those 40 GBs of video that are sucking up my hard drive will they disappear from the drive too?

    Apologies for being redundant.

  2. #2
    Time Machine question

    Member Since
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    Back to my old 2.2GHz C2D MB after selling my MBP and wondering what my next Mac will be :)
    Welcome to Mac Forums.
    Time Machine deletes it's oldest backups once the time machine HD fills up, so if the movies are not on the later backups, and have been deleted from your internal HD, then yes, they will be gone forever.
    What you need is a large external HD to store your movies on, or to add a partition to the drive that you are using for time machine backups, that you can store the movies on, so that time machine won't erase those when it gets full.

  3. #3
    Time Machine question
    MYmacROX's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 17, 2009
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    2008 15" MBP Yosemite, 2012 21.5" iMac Yosemite
    Sounds like you would be better off using Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper! to just make a bootable copy of your HDD. Then you can erase them from your Macbook and view them via the external.
    64GB iPhone 6, 64GB iPad Air 2.

    Reminder: Please include your Mac's specs. This will make it much easier for the other members to assist you.

  4. #4
    Time Machine question

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    6string nailed it.

  5. #5
    Time Machine question
    Jaygray's Avatar
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    If Time Machine deleted it's backup of a file every time you deleted the original, it would defeat the purpose of the software. Aside from recovering from a HD failure, the purpose of Time Machine is to be able to go back in time and restore a file that you deleted, intentionally or otherwise. Suppose you intentionally delete a file and two weeks later wish you could get it back...

  6. #6
    Time Machine question

    Member Since
    Jan 17, 2010
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    2.8 GHz 15" MacBook Pro OS X 10.7.x & some old Macs
    Quote Originally Posted by letsunitetonite View Post
    I finally decided to start using Time Machine after having a MacBook for two years because I had a ton of HD video that was sucking up space on my internal hard drive.

    My question, and it may be dumb, is this: if I were, after my initial backup, to delete a file intentionally, would the file still remain on my Time Machine backups even after the drive fills up? Or would those files be deleted forever?

    In other words, does Time Machine always sync to your computer? Apple says that once the drive fills up files will be "intelligently deleted". So if I delete those 40 GBs of video that are sucking up my hard drive will they disappear from the drive too?

    Apologies for being redundant.
    Your situation depends on whether you want to backup your whole computer's hard drive or if you just want to move files off of your computer permanently to free up room. The mistake I see people do is use Time Machine for both.

    TM is made for backup. It should not be used for files you want moved permanently off the computer to be stored elsewhere. I have similar needs and here is what I do.

    What I do is have two external hard drives. One is for a backup copy of my computer's hard drive and the other is used to store files I no longer have on my computer which is what you are trying to do. I then have backup DVD copies of the 2nd external hard drive because having only one copy of something means it doesn't have a backup. I'm planning on getting another hard drive so I can just easily clone the 2nd hard drive instead of doing DVD backups.

    If you are using your external hard drive for storage then you don't need to use Time Machine or cloning software because you are not backing up your whole computer. Just format the hard drive and then drag and drop the files over like you do in Finder but in your situation you should think about getting two hard drives or partition the one you have but that would reduce the hard drive space for TM and storage space. Backing up and permanently moving files off your computer for storage are two different things so you shouldn't use only TM when you need both.

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