How to Delete Old Backups from Time Machine on Mac

Deleting Old Backups of Time Machine via Time Machine in OS X

This is the preferred approach to deleting old backups made in Time Machine, it uses the Time Machine application itself and is simple, handled entirely through the friendly user interface.

  1. Connect the Time Machine drive to the Mac if you haven’t done so yet
  2. Pull down the Time machine icon in the menu bar, then choose “Enter Time Machine”
  3. Navigate to the point in time you want to delete (if it’s a very old backup you’re looking to delete, scroll until you find the appropriate place in time)
  4. Right-click on the backup in the Finder window of Time Machine, or click on the little gear icon in the Finder window – both work the same – then choose “Delete All Backups of (Name)”
  5. Enter the admin password when requested to delete the backup

Essentially you’ll be navigating to the section of the Mac file system that you want to delete a time machine backup for, thus if you want to delete old backups for the entire Mac, navigate to the root folder, or the user folder, whichever is appropriate for your scenario. In this way, the process of deleting an entire old backup is similar to deleting a backup of a specific file or folder from Time Machine, except that rather than targeting a small portion of the file system, you choose the entire Mac or the user directory within Time Machine.

Source: How to Delete Old Backups from Time Machine on Mac

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