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Reducing Your Online Backup Size

This only applies to those clients using MySecureBackup. Most of you have been using the backup for quite awhile. One thing that happens is that more and more stuff gets backed up that you don't want backed up.  For example:

  • Suppose a project goes through a number of drafts, but finally gets finalized. After a year or two you may just delete the old obsolete drafts.
  • Perhaps you move some of your document folders around. Now you have the same documents in both places on your backup
  • Suppose you import your old data into your brand new program and begin using it. Now you have that data in its new imported form backed up, but also in the old unusable format that worked with the old program.
  • Even if you think this isn't happening and you aren't changing things, you should still do it because various programs maintain their own backup of files. For instance, Firefox keeps about 5 copies of your bookmarks. One each day. If your backup is happening each day, then after 3 months you'll have 90 backups of your old bookmarks that you really don't want. It is unusual for me to have less than a couple hundred unwanted files.

Normally, you don't want your backup to remove files from the backup just because they are removed from your hard drive because you might accidentally delete a file. That's one reason you have the backup. However, there comes a time, about once every three months for me, when I want to clean up my online backup to reset it to look like my hard drive.

MySecureBackup allows for this when you use the Legacy Backup. All of you are using the Legacy Backup because I won't support the other one. Just open the activity monitor, choose Online Disk and then Legacy Backup Cleanup.

The program will scan through all your files and folders and then present a report like this:

I always preview the files and directories it will delete from my backup. Then I select Yes and OK and delete them. Obviously you should do this when you are sure your computer is working properly, not after a major problem.

Be aware that the cleanup process takes a surprisingly long time. It seems that for every file that needs to be deleted an instruction is sent, then the job is performed on your online backup, then confirmation is sent, then it is checked, then the instruction to delete the next file is sent. So lots of small files could take hours.

Of course you can use your network drive to remove files and folders by hand.

As always, call me if you are having any trouble.

Date: July 2010

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