[Solved] Try 3 Easy Methods to Delete Backups on Mac

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Most of the Macbook users are now familiar to backup applications. When there is a hard drive crash or any loss of data, the backup applications become very useful to us. As one of the Mac computer users, you can find one of the integrated backup programs, Time Machine. The folder of Time Machine backups on Mac is used for keeping the updated copy of the files in your device.

However, you can face one problem with everyday backups. When the software is regularly backing up different files, they can cover up much amount of space of your Mac. For the newer backups, you have to free up the storage space. You can do it by removing the older file backups from your Time Machine.

delete time machine backups on mac

Get an Overview of Time Machine Backup

As we mentioned before, Time Machine is an integrated backup program that macOS has provided. It will automatically back up all of your files on the Mac, including pictures, music, documents, and system files, etc. The presence of this program helps you in recovering the files very easily. While you have unintentionally deleted the media, emails and documents or other files you needed, Time Machine helps you to retrieve them again. However, when the backup files piles up over time, they will be hogging more and more space on your Mac.

Why Time Machine Backups are So Large

Mac has integrated Time Machine software to its OS X 10.5 and has ensured a smooth, reliable operation. However, some users have found large backups while using their Time Machine applications. We have found out the potential reasons behind it.

Time Machine analyzes your MacOS and keeps the hourly backups of the last 24 hours. The program also keeps your daily and weekly backups. When your Time Machine backups on Mac becomes full, the older ones have to be removed. When Time Machine is going through the full backup, it can be highly time-consuming to the users. The updating process for MacOS will also result in a larger backup because it can update or add several files. There are various applications, for which the backups become very large. You may also find that these applications slow down the backup process.

  • Virtualization apps- In a few instances, virtualized OS remains saved in OSX files. Any minor modification affects the file fully. It may use the backup space within a short time.
  • Torrent apps and other P2P apps.
  • Different types of other backup apps present in the system

what time machine keeps

Thus, for the above reasons, you can find a vast Time Machine backup. Now, the question is- How can I delete these large backups? We have presented you with three methods for removing Time Machine backups, present in your Mac.

Method 1- Use A Powerful Third-party Software [The Easiest]

We have chosen it as the first method. Using a great third-party software is definitely an efficient way to get rid of large backups. When it comes to the Mac cleanup apps, the Umate Mac Cleaner is highly recommended in the current market. This software is a reliable Mac-friendly application with a comprehensive solution. And it is capable of deleting the old backup files and optimizing the performance of Mac. The app will present you with an easier backup removal process by performing its deep cleaning mode.

Umate Mac Cleaner Stands Out on Erasing Time Machine Backups

1 Click Removal 3X Faster Very easy to use Full Cleanup
Why Easiest Clear Time Machine backups with just 1 click.

Scaning and cleaning speed is 3x faster than competitors. Easy operations and intuitive user interface Get rid of large backups without remaining traces.
Overall Ratings
  • Ease of use:
  • Speed:
  • Effectiveness:

All in all, Umate Mac Cleaner make it easier and faster to delete old Time Machine backups on your Mac.

Get Start with Umate Mac Cleaner

Now, you can question- How to delete Time Machine backups with Umate Mac Cleaner? Here are the steps.

Step 1. Download and install Umate Mac Cleaner in your Mac.

Mac version

Step 2. Turn on the scanning process.

clean up junk

Click on the Scan button. This will activate the Mac scanning process. The app will automatically detect junks files that can be deleted without thinking. Then hit the Clean option for removing all the chosen files.

Step 3. Deeper clean up for your Mac.

clean up junk confirm

Some users look for something more than basic removal. In that case, it is essential to choose Deep Clean mode. You can continue the activity by hitting this button. This mode helps in the removal of iOS junk files like Time Machine backups.

Method 2- Use the Time Machine App

Mac has integrated Time Machine app for the backup of your important files. However, the interesting thing is that you may also use the app for removing the older backed-up files directly. You have to follow the below guide to delete the Mac Time Machine backup.

  1. Find the backup drive of your system.
  2. Go to Menu Bar, and you will find an icon of Time Machine application. Click on that icon.
  3. As you have found a page, you can start scrolling through the backups. At this step, you need to pick the backed-up files that have to be deleted. In most cases, the users remove the older backups that will be of no use to them.
  4. Now, you can move your mouse pointer over a Gear icon and click on it.
  5. Choose Delete Backup Option.
  6. The screen will display you a confirmation message and you need to agree to it.
  7. Then, input your password and username.

While you do not think of downloading any third-party tool for deleting old backups from Time Machine, you can choose the above method. It is a very easy process for several users.

delete backup on mac

Method 3- Use A Terminal Command

The next is the third way on how to delete old Time Machine backups. This method is also a manual process like second one, done with the use of tmutil command and Terminal command. You can choose this method, if you are familiar to the command line. The point is that you need to type the commands rightly. Just follow the below steps for the backup removal process.

  1. Go to Applications and then Utilities. It will be helpful for launching Terminal
  2. For seeing the backup list, you have to type the command- tmutil listbackup.
  3. The screen will display you the list of backups by date.
  4. Trace out the backups to be deleted. Then, input the command sudo tmutil delete.
  5. While you have wildcards in your Terminal, you can remove more than one backup at a time.

use terminal command

Bonus Tip: How to Restore Time Machine Backups If Accidentally Deleted

Here is a question: If you mistakenly deleted some important Time Machine backups, how to recover them? Fortunately you can get them back again from local snapshots, for the Mac itself will automatically back up documents for some time. Just take a look at the following steps below.

  1. Choose "Enter Time Machine" and Open Time Machine.
  2. Find the files you want to restore.
  3. Preview it by pressing Space bar to confirm whether it's the one that you are looking for.
  4. Select it and click "Restore" to recover the file.

restore time machine backups

Before You Go

Now, let us compare the above three processes on how to delete a Time Machine backup file from your Mac. We think that Umate Mac Cleaner is the best choice to most of the Mac users. The use of the terminal command is not much easy for everyone. However, while deleting old backups, the process is not highly effective to have full junk removal. That is why the feature-rich Umate Mac Cleaner is an amazing choice to you for deleting the old backup files.

Mac version