How To Clear Time Machine Backups From Mac

Do you wish to learn how to delete Time Machine backups as your storage is full? Time Machine saved the backups on the external drive, and there are times when you want it clear. If you do not know how to delete Time Machine backups, here is the solution for you. This blog post covers the simple method explaining how to delete backups from a Time Machine. First, let us find out what it is and how it operates.

What Is a Time Machine Backup In Mac?

Time Machine is the in-built feature of Mac, which helps in taking automatic backups. Time Machine backup can help you keep a complete backup of the system files, apps, emails, photos, and other documents. If the Time Machine is turned on, it will automatically take backups of your system. This backup is helpful when you face a system crash or need to look at the old backups. These backups are all saved up in an external device. It can be anything from a USB, Thunderbolt, FireWire drive. Whenever the disk is full, Time Machine deletes the oldest backups. It will regularly keep a backup of the past 24 hours, which is done on an automatic hourly process. It can keep up the backup for each day in a month as well.

How To Delete Backups From Time Machine?

Step 1: Open Menu Bar and then go to the Time Machine icon.

In case you do not see the Time Machine icon on the menu bar, it might not have been added there. No worries, go to the Apple Menu.

Here you can click on the System Preferences.

Now you can easily view the Time Machine icon.

To add a Time Machine icon on the Menu bar, right-click the option to “ Show Time Machine in Menu bar.”


Go to the menu bar; click on GO. Now you will see the multiple options in the drop-down menu.

Click on Applications.

time machine option in mac

Step 2: As you will view the Time Machine, you need to click on it.

view the Time Machine, how to delete backups from Time Machine

This will instantly open up the Time Machine application for you, and you will be able to see the old backups on Mac.

Time Machine application

Step 3: Once you have opened the backup on Time Machine, you can proceed to the next step. This is how to delete the Time Machine backups, using the Finder.

Step 4: Finder will help you clear the Time Machine backup and make space on the external drive. It lets you delete files and folders individually, but they have to be in the Backups.backupdb folder. Other items can not be deleted individually, so you have to delete the backups from Time Machine entirely.

Note: Do not use any other app like Terminal to delete backups from the Backups.backupdb folder.

Remember, if you are trying to make space in the external drive, and that is the reason behind clearing the old backups, you can reduce the storage. This can be done before the backup of Time Machine. One must always clear the junk and duplicates present on the storage. This will help you to keep an organized backup on Time Machine as well.

We suggest using Disk Clean Pro, a Mac cleaning application at the most affordable rate ever. This is a must-have cleaning app for your Mac, which gives you some amazing features to optimize Mac. It runs a complete scan of the disk on Mac and then shows the junk, duplicates, old downloads, and other miscellaneous data like mail downloads. This will help you clear out much space on your Mac, and thus, when the Time Machine backup is formed; it will not be cluttered. Thus, making more space in the external drive to use.


When you are willing to clear the external drive space, you learn how to delete backups from Time Machine. This simple procedure will help you in deleting the unnecessary backups. If you are clearing your Mac for unwanted data, using DiskClean Pro also proves to be a great help. It will reduce the files uploaded in the backup for Time Machine. Download it now on Mac to keep it clutter-free.

We hope that this method helps you understand how to delete Time Machine backups on Mac. We would like to know your views on this post to make it more useful. Your suggestions and comments are welcome in the comment section below. Share the information with your friends and others by sharing the article on social media.

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