Skip navigation

Emptying Trash of Time Machine backup files

2827 Views 2 Replies Latest reply: Jun 9, 2012 8:11 AM by Bradleburg RSS
Peaeye Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Apr 13, 2012 8:14 PM

I made the mistake of deleting an unwanted set of Time Machine backups using the finder.  Now I get an error message when I attempt to empty the trash.  I have tried operating in safe mode and using option+empty, but neither works. 


I understand there is a command that one can issue in Terminal to erase those trash files, but I wasn't able to find it.


Suggestions?  Thanks.

Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • den.thed Level 7 Level 7 (23,325 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 13, 2012 8:18 PM (in response to Peaeye)
    iMac, Mac Mini, iPad, iPods, Mac OS X (10.6.8), (10.7.3) Safari, iTunes, iPhoto
  • Bradleburg Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 9, 2012 8:11 AM (in response to Peaeye)

    An easy, but somewhat time consuming way to fix this is the following:


    1. Buy an external hard drive  from a store with an easy returns policy (target is great).


    2. Transfer all the files you want to keep from the old HD (the one you have the time machine backups on) to the new HD. This can take a very long time depending on the amount of information you are transferring. 1.25T took about 12 hours.


    3. Format the original HD using Disk Utility. This will also get rid of the trashed backups.


    4. Transfer all the files back from new HD to original HD.


    5. Format the new HD and return it to the store.


    This is pretty much foolproof, but is annoying. In the future, partition your external HD, so you can format only the parts you don't want.


More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)


  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.