Isn't Time Machine supposed to clear space automatically?

Isn’t Time Machine supposed to automatically clear out old backups to make room for new ones? My TM drive is twice the size of my built-in storage and I’ve excluded my Parallels VM folder, so there should be plenty of room, but I keep getting backup failures due to lack of space. A few months ago I reformatted the drive and started over (I also have a CCC backup with no apparent problems along with scripted ad hoc backups of key data, so the risk was minimal), but now it’s apparently full again.

Yes, but I have seen many instances where this didn’t happen. Most, but not all, involved remote storage. BTW, Time Machine under Catalina is so extremely slow backing up ssd to ssd that I quit using it.

At one time I had 5 Drobo 5Ns that I used to backup our executives and critical users. In each case Time Machine failed to clear out the old backups. Fortunately only a few of my users ever reached their limit. My solution for those users was to use Chronosync (& ChronoAgent) to back them up to a Mac server. Some years later all were eventually switched to cloud backup systems.

I had this same problem under Mojave. It’s just not working reliably. I’ve given up on Time Machine until Apple updates it.

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