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How can I know what files and folders is Apple's Time Machine backing up when it's making a backup?
I tried to exclude all the folders that are likely to contain big files, change often and are not really needed, as are P2P downloads, movies, music, and the like, which often make a bad choice for a backup.
But sometimes I realize I forgot an important folder and see Time Machine "Backing up ** of 1.45 GB" so I'd like to know what's that so I can exclude it, if it's not worth the space in the time capsule.

PS: is it safe to manually delete folders inside the time capsule? because using time machine's option Delete all backups of... is taking fckn' for ever :(

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Sorry about posting on serverfault, I don't even know why I did it. –  Petruza Nov 25 '10 at 15:16
    
See also Verifying Time Machine backups. –  Arjan Nov 25 '10 at 23:03
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migrated from serverfault.com Nov 25 '10 at 10:22

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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

BackupLoupe will let you inspect past backups to see what's taking up so much space. You can then change your exclusions and/or go into the Time Machine interface and delete files from the backup to free up space (see "Deleting data from a Time Machine backup" here).

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Thanks! great proggy. I Actually feel like paying for it! :) –  Petruza Nov 25 '10 at 15:14
    
is it safe to manually delete folders inside the time capsule? because using time machine's option Delete all backups of... is taking fckn' for ever :( –  Petruza Nov 25 '10 at 22:22
    
I don't think so. Time Machine uses a weird hard-linking system to make the same folder appear in multiple backup snapshots if the folder didn't change between snapshots; if you delete things using something that doesn't know how to maintain the internal consistency of this, I'm not certain it won't mess up the structure of the backup. This probably has a lot to do with why deleting things can take a long time... BTW, are you connecting to the Time Capsule wirelessly while cleaning out the backups? If so, switching to the wired (gigabit ethernet) connection might speed things up. –  Gordon Davisson Nov 26 '10 at 2:10
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