Time Machine, undo "Delete all backups of ..."

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Tom Harrington, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. At some point I told Time Machine to get rid of backups of a particular
    file using the "Delete all backups of ..." option. Time Machine duly
    deleted the backups of the file and stopped making new ones.

    I've since changed my mind but I can't figure out how to get Time
    Machine to start backing up the file again. I know the old backups are
    gone, that's fine, but I want to start getting new backups.

    The file is not in the exclusions list in Time Machine preferences.

    Renaming the file isn't an option-- this file is used by a certain app
    that expects it to have a specific name.

    Any ideas?
    Tom Harrington, Nov 4, 2011
    1. Advertisements

  2. Just a guess, but then you did ask for such...

    Try modifying the file in some way to kick off a backup of it. Instead
    of rescanning the whole file system every time, TM gets a notification
    when a file is modified (I'm slightly simplifying, I know, but close
    enough). If nothing has changed in the file since the last time it was
    backed up, there would not have been anything to tell TM to do a new
    backup of it. So try kicking it by making a modification.

    If nothing else, maybe just copy the file to another name and then copy
    it back, or something like that.
    Richard Maine, Nov 4, 2011
    1. Advertisements

  3. Open a terminal window and do:

    touch /path/to/filename

    This simply updates the file's modification time without actually
    modifying it, which may trigger the backup.
    Barry Margolin, Nov 4, 2011
  4. This file gets modified all the time, many times since I deleted it from

    I've since discovered that there's an xattr on it named
    "com.apple.metadata:com_apple_backup_excludeItem". I plan on removing
    that and seeing what happens.
    Tom Harrington, Nov 4, 2011
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.