Backups work flow (deleting backup files)

In OF 1, I used a Hazel action to automatically delete old backups. In OF 2, the location of the Backups folder is moved into the Containers folder in ~/Library. I’m already up to 63 backups. Since I don’t see any options for managing backups other than the Show Backups menu command, is it safe to delete old backups from this folder?

Generally speaking, you shouldn’t try to manually manage files inside an application’s container (inside ~/Library/Containers/), and OmniFocus 2 is no exception. I can’t really advocate for a Hazel action that deletes files from within OmniFocus’s container.

However, there’s good news: OmniFocus 2 includes an automatic “backup pruning” feature, which will keep your most recent 100 backups around and delete any older copies. For someone who runs OmniFocus 24/7, this will mean having about two weeks of backups (at the default backup time interval).

I hope this addresses your concern about cleaning up backups! If you have other questions about how backing up works in OmniFocus 2, of course please let us know.


I’m ok letting OF 2 manage the backups. Wouldn’t mind having an option to set the number of backups kept though. :)

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I second kastorff request to allow the user to set the number of backups to keep. 100 does seem a bit too many backups.

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If you could have total control over how frequently a backup should be made, and how many would be kept, what would you pick?

(Can’t promise our solution will do exactly what you request, but if we don’t know what you want, I can pretty much guarantee it won’t!)


Whatever the current frequency is but allow us to choose. For example… Last 15, 25, 50. As long as one has a choice I think you could satisfy those of us who do not need or want 100 backups.

I was keeping only the 10 most recent with Hazel. An option to select manual or automatic settings, coupled with a numeric value (1-99) defining the number of backups to keep would minimally suffice. Could have a percentage of available space option. Could have number of days back to keep option.

And as already suggested by rbarr99, relatively broad finite increments 15 - 25 - 50 etc will hit a huge percentage of your users’ needs.

Just had a customer email about managing the number of backups OmniFocus keeps that had found this thread. On his suggestion, I just want to share that there is a hidden preferences that allows you to change the number of backups that OmniFocus keeps, as well as a preference to change how frequently backups are made. These are preferences that should be used with discretion because while hopefully seldom used, when they are needed these backups can be a real life saver.

If you’d really like to adjust how often OmniFocus backups and how many backups it keeps, shoot us an email, and we can share details on how you can change these preferences.