An external drive has TM backups from two Macs running OS 10.6.8 which held thousands of files in common, one copy on each. Now I want to repurpose that drive, but keep a lot of the files from the TM backups for day-to-day use (30 K photos). How do I convert the protected backups into ordinary files I can delete, move, rename and so on? If there's a way to do this without using the console, I'll be in pig heaven. Thanks!

  • Could you restore those files using Time Machine to a folder on another drive, reformat the drive/turn off Time Machine, and then copy them back?
    – samh
    Aug 17, 2014 at 1:13

1 Answer 1


Simply use Finder to drag a copy of the folders you want to maintain out of the Backup.backupdb hierarchy and then delete the copies left in Time Machine or delete all backups.

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