Suddenly T.M. posted 'delayed' when backing up to an external 250 gb drive. I have deleted perhaps 10 old back-ups but freed up space does not show on T.M. Shows 47 gb of space out of of total 214 gb. How can I get this freed up space to occur? Running OS 10.6.8. 2.33 ghz Core 2 duo. Thanks for any assistance.

  • How much space does one full single backup take up? I am asking since Time Machine uses hard links for unchanged files when backing up again to safe space but to retain the ability to fully restore a computer from a backup again. So, removing a certain backup will only free up the space of the changed files.
    – Phoenix
    Apr 21, 2015 at 14:30
  • When you click "back up now" on the menubar-icon-menu, do you get an error message? Apr 21, 2015 at 14:48
  • Thanks for comments. Phoenix - When backing up displays 3.34 gb, to back-up, but simple stops about half-way thru. Kevin - The error message in red reads 'Delayed'. However, I have deleted about 10 early back-ups without the available disc space displaying this on the available space left. This is the main problem - why? TM does go thru scanning files and as I have mentioned, but stops on back-up about half-way thru. Hopes this helps to explain.
    – Roger
    Apr 22, 2015 at 11:11
  • Just remembered. No old back-ups have ever been removed by TM as it should - except the ones I deleted myself.
    – Roger
    Apr 22, 2015 at 11:14

1 Answer 1


The time machine shouldn't care about free space as it will just remove the oldest backups to make space. Mine was stopping mid backup a bunch so I had to hit skip backup then boot down with the drive still connected and back up again then hit back up now and it worked.

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