I have a Lacie rikiki (500GB) harddrive that runs on Time Machine, and have been backing up for a couple of years. It now says it is full, and that it will delete old backups in order to make space to backup my current computer data. Does this mean that I am possibly losing important files (from two years ago) that I will therefore never again have access to? How does Time Machine decide what to delete?


It deletes the oldest backups, as well as deleting all old backups each day, to make one backup each day. Unless you don't want to backup any more, older backups must be deleted. If you really have important files, why are they just on the Time Machine drive?

  • That is where my ignorance lay. I assumed that Time Machine was the equivalent to a hard drive and never got the message as to how it actually worked, but now I'm clear. If my Time Machine (500GB) says that it doesn't have enough space to backup, does this mean that I currently have more than 500GB on my computer (internal hard drive)? – Space3 Oct 27 '15 at 12:41
  • @Space3 it might. How big is your internal HD? – At0mic Oct 27 '15 at 13:56
  • I don't know how/where to find that. – Space3 Oct 28 '15 at 10:48
  • @Space3 Apple logo in the top, About This Mac, Storage.... – At0mic Oct 28 '15 at 12:43
  • Thank you. I have 500GB total storage on my computer, and it isn't yet full. My Time Machine should therefore be able to back everything up, but isn't doing so. Can you suggest why this may be? Shouldn't it delete old backups to make space for a new one, thereby always having a capacity of backing up a maximum of 500GB? Or do previous backups somehow also take up space? – Space3 Oct 29 '15 at 12:08

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