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Time Machine: Delete Files or Folders from Backup

Time Machine does an amazing job of backing up all files on your system. However, sometimes you do not want every file saved forever and ever. Here is how you remove a backed up file or folder from the time machine.


I really will not judge you for your huge file collections. Images, videos, programs — whatever they are. However, you may not want these files saved on your backup drive in perpetuity. In all versions of Time Machine, you can use this technique to delete a particular file or folder from all Time Machine backups.

Here is how to remove files and folders from your Time Machine backup.

1. Hit the Time Machine icon to jump into the starfield view

2. For some crazy reason, you can’t ctrl-click (right-click) in the starfield view. So pull-up the options by clicking the “gears” Options icon as shown below. From here, select Delete All Backups…

Ahhh… safer you are, young Time Machine Jedi.

David Kirk
David Kirk
David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.
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