Time Machine Backup For Mac

  • For Time Machine backups, it's good to use a drive that has at least twice the storage capacity of your Mac. Free up storage on your Mac. MacOS can save space by storing your content in the cloud. This isn't a backup, but it includes new tools to make it easier to find and remove large or unwanted files before you make a backup.
  • The backup disk is unavailable or can’t be found or “mounted” If Time Machine on your Mac can’t find your backup disk. If you need a password to unlock your backup disk on Mac.
  • The inbuilt Time-machine backup feature on the Mac operating system stores a copy of the most recent data and can be searched very easily. It is stored on your external backup disk; Search it in the path: Apple menu - System preferences - TimeMachine; Part 2. How to Backup with Time Machine.
  • Learn how to set up Time Machine on an external storage device to back up your Mac. To learn more about this topic visit the following article: How to use Ti.

From time to time you may see the following message when Time Machine attempts to back up your Mac: Time Machine could not complete the backup This backup it too large for the backup disk.

You can use Time Machine, the built-in backup feature of your Mac, to automatically back up all of your files, including apps, music, photos, email, documents, and system files. When you have a backup, you can restore files from your backup if the original files are ever deleted from your Mac, or the hard disk (or SSD) in your Mac is erased or replaced.


Create a Time Machine backup

To create backups with Time Machine, all you need is an external storage device. After you connect the device and select it as your backup disk, Time Machine automatically makes hourly backups for the past 24 hours, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups for all previous months. The oldest backups are deleted when your backup disk is full.

Connect an external storage device

Connect one of the following external storage devices, sold separately. Learn more about backup disks that you can use with Time Machine.

  • External drive connected to your Mac, such as a USB, Thunderbolt, or FireWire drive
  • External drive connected to an AirPort Extreme Base Station (802.11ac model) or AirPort Time Capsule
  • AirPort Time Capsule
  • Mac shared as a Time Machine backup destination
  • Network-attached storage (NAS) device that supports Time Machine over SMB

Select your storage device as the backup disk

When you connect an external drive directly to your Mac, you might be asked if you want to use the drive to back up with Time Machine. Select Encrypt Backup Disk (recommended), then click Use as Backup Disk.

An encrypted backup is accessible only to users with the password. Learn more about keeping your backup disk secure.

If Time Machine doesn't ask to use your drive, follow these steps to add it manually:

  1. Open Time Machine preferences from the Time Machine menu in the menu bar. Or choose Apple () menu > System Preferences, then click Time Machine.
  2. Click Select Backup Disk (or Select Disk, or Add or Remove Backup Disk):
  3. Select your external drive from the list of available disks. Then select ”Encrypt backups” (recommended) and click Use Disk:

If the disk you selected isn't formatted as required by Time Machine, you're prompted to erase the disk first. Click Erase to proceed. This erases all information on the backup disk.

Enjoy the convenience of automatic backups

After you select a backup disk, Time Machine immediately begins making periodic backups—automatically and without further action by you. The first backup may take a long time, depending on how many files you have, but you can continue using your Mac while a backup is underway. Time Machine backs up only the files that changed since the previous backup, so future backups will be faster.

To start a backup manually, choose Back Up Now from the Time Machine menu in the menu bar. Use the same menu to check the status of a backup or skip a backup in progress.

Learn more

  • If you back up to multiple disks, you can switch disks before entering Time Machine. Press and hold the Option key, then choose Browse Other Backup Disks from the Time Machine menu.
  • To exclude items from your backup, open Time Machine preferences, click Options, then click the Add (+) button to add an item to be excluded. To stop excluding an item, such as an external hard drive, select the item and click the Remove (–) button.
  • If using Time Machine to back up to a network disk, you can verify those backups to make sure they're in good condition. Press and hold Option, then choose Verify Backups from the Time Machine menu.
  • In OS X Lion v10.7.3 or later, you can start up from your Time Machine disk, if necessary. Press and hold Option as your Mac starts up. When you see the Startup Manager screen, choose “EFI Boot” as the startup disk.

Do you wish to learn how to delete Time Machine backups as your storage is full? Time Machine saved the backups on the external drive, and there are times when you want it clear. If you do not know how to delete Time Machine backups, here is the solution for you. This blog post covers the simple method explaining how to delete backups from a Time Machine. First, let us find out what it is and how it operates.

What Is a Time Machine Backup In Mac?

Time Machine is the in-built feature of Mac, which helps in taking automatic backups. Time Machine backup can help you keep a complete backup of the system files, apps, emails, photos, and other documents. If the Time Machine is turned on, it will automatically take backups of your system. This backup is helpful when you face a system crash or need to look at the old backups. These backups are all saved up in an external device. It can be anything from a USB, Thunderbolt, FireWire drive. Whenever the disk is full, Time Machine deletes the oldest backups. It will regularly keep a backup of the past 24 hours, which is done on an automatic hourly process. It can keep up the backup for each day in a month as well.

Time Machine Backup For Mac

How To Delete Backups From Time Machine?


Step 1: Open Menu Bar and then go to the Time Machine icon.

In case you do not see the Time Machine icon on the menu bar, it might not have been added there. No worries, go to the Apple Menu.

Here you can click on the System Preferences.

Now you can easily view the Time Machine icon.

To add a Time Machine icon on the Menu bar, right-click the option to “ Show Time Machine in Menu bar.”


Go to the menu bar; click on GO. Now you will see the multiple options in the drop-down menu.

Click on Applications.

Step 2: As you will view the Time Machine, you need to click on it.

This will instantly open up the Time Machine application for you, and you will be able to see the old backups on Mac.

Step 3: Once you have opened the backup on Time Machine, you can proceed to the next step. This is how to delete the Time Machine backups, using the Finder.

Step 4: Finder will help you clear the Time Machine backup and make space on the external drive. It lets you delete files and folders individually, but they have to be in the Backups.backupdb folder. Other items can not be deleted individually, so you have to delete the backups from Time Machine entirely.

Note: Do not use any other app like Terminal to delete backups from the Backups.backupdb folder.

Time Machine Backup Another Mac

Remember, if you are trying to make space in the external drive, and that is the reason behind clearing the old backups, you can reduce the storage. This can be done before the backup of Time Machine. One must always clear the junk and duplicates present on the storage. This will help you to keep an organized backup on Time Machine as well.

We suggest using Disk Clean Pro, a Mac cleaning application at the most affordable rate ever. This is a must-have cleaning app for your Mac, which gives you some amazing features to optimize Mac. It runs a complete scan of the disk on Mac and then shows the junk, duplicates, old downloads, and other miscellaneous data like mail downloads. This will help you clear out much space on your Mac, and thus, when the Time Machine backup is formed; it will not be cluttered. Thus, making more space in the external drive to use.


When you are willing to clear the external drive space, you learn how to delete backups from Time Machine. This simple procedure will help you in deleting the unnecessary backups. If you are clearing your Mac for unwanted data, using DiskClean Pro also proves to be a great help. It will reduce the files uploaded in the backup for Time Machine. Download it now on Mac to keep it clutter-free.

We hope that this method helps you understand how to delete Time Machine backups on Mac. We would like to know your views on this post to make it more useful. Your suggestions and comments are welcome in the comment section below. Share the information with your friends and others by sharing the article on social media.

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