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Trash won't empty deleted time machine backups

8954 Views 15 Replies Latest reply: Apr 17, 2014 8:17 AM by Nonike RSS
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katiecat Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Aug 20, 2013 12:56 PM

I manually deleted my time machine backups and they won't empty from my trash... I tried deleting it from Terminal but it always says no such file or directory.

 

When I try to delete them manually from Trash it says: "There are some locked items in the Trash. Do you want to remove all the items, including the locked ones, or just the unlocked items?" to which I said delete all, and nothing happens.

 

This is what it looks like on Terminal:

 

Last login: Tue Aug 20 15:29:28 on ttys000

Katies-MacBook-Pro:~ katie$ cd /Volumes/"Time Machine Backups"/

-bash: cd: /Volumes/Time Machine Backups/: No such file or directory

Katies-MacBook-Pro:~ katie$ sudo rm -rf .Trashes

 

 

WARNING: Improper use of the sudo command could lead to data loss

or the deletion of important system files. Please double-check your

typing when using sudo. Type "man sudo" for more information.

 

 

To proceed, enter your password, or type Ctrl-C to abort.

 

 

Password:

Katies-MacBook-Pro:~ katie$

 

 

Nothing was changed on my macbook. My external drive is plugged into my macbook and I've tried disk utility cleaning and repairing the disks and such but nothing will work. They are taking up about 1GB on my drive and it's more annoying than anything but if it happens again I want to know how to solve it. Please help!

MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.4)
  • Eric Root Level 6 Level 6 (13,840 points)
  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,600 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 20, 2013 2:54 PM (in response to katiecat)

    Never empty the Trash in the shell. It's dangerous and unnecessary.

     

    Deleting backups in the Finder is rarely, if ever, the right thing to do either.

     

    Hold down the option key and empty the Trash.

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 21, 2013 1:59 AM (in response to katiecat)

    katiecat wrote:

    Katies-MacBook-Pro:~ katie$ cd /Volumes/"Time Machine Backups"/

    -bash: cd: /Volumes/Time Machine Backups/: No such file or directory

    If Linc's suggestion doesn't work . . .

     

    Did you type that, or drag your TM drive into the Terminal window?  It looks like you may have mis-typed it.  Since the "cd" failed, the "rm" command was trying to empty the trash on your startup drive.

     

    Typing "cd" and a space, then dragging it from a Finder window should generate the correct path.

     

    Is there anything else on the drive, besides these backups in the trash?  If not, just erase it with Disk Utility.

     

     

    They are taking up about 1GB on my drive and it's more annoying than anything but if it happens again I want to know how to solve it.

    Are you planning to continue backing-up to this drive?  If so, and if there's other stuff on it, in the same partition, that's not a good idea.  See Time Machine - Frequently Asked Question #3 for details.

     

    If you deleted them to regain space, once the backups are in their own partition, TM will delete old backups automatically, when necessary.  In a pinch, if you need to delete them, while Apple says it's supported via the Finder effective with Lion, you can also do it via the TM browser.  See #12 in the above link.

  • bumper947 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 27, 2013 6:19 PM (in response to katiecat)

    open trash then hold down command option shift delete...this works for me

  • smo0f Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 3, 2013 11:50 AM (in response to katiecat)

    I had the same issue while trying to manually remove a Time Machine folder.  I was looking in my home folder trashes expecting it to be there but it wasn't (~/.Trash/).  But what I did (and you should do) is open the Trash, and right click the folder you want to delete, and click Get Info.  Under the General section, you should see where the folder is located next to "Where:".  Mine was something like "/Volumes/External_Disk/.Trashes/501".  That's the folder I deleted in the Terminal using "sudo rm -rf /Volumes/External_Disk/.Trashes/501". 

     

    If you still get a message about it being locked and unable to delete it, then you need to run "sudo chflags -R nouchg /Volmes/External_Disk/.Trashes/501" or whatever the folder is you're trying to delete, then rerun the rm -rf command. 

     

    Hope this helps.  Good luck.

  • ltribaldo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 12, 2013 9:27 PM (in response to bumper947)

    This worked for me.. Thanks for the quick tip

  • jay3004 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 21, 2013 2:33 AM (in response to bumper947)

    thank you for that comment. it workd yay!

     

    what do i nee to do if i wish to delete my backup files in the future?

  • smo0f Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 21, 2013 1:04 PM (in response to jay3004)

    Open up Time Machine and browse to the backup you want to delete, right click within the Finder window, and click 'Delete Backup'.

  • mephistofeles2013 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 26, 2013 9:32 AM (in response to smo0f)

    Yes! It worked for me too!!

     

    Thanks a lot!

  • Batchowski Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 21, 2014 9:43 AM (in response to smo0f)

    cheers fella this worked for me.

  • Old Load Toad Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2014 10:56 PM (in response to Pondini)

    Pondini wrote:

     

    katiecat wrote:

    Katies-MacBook-Pro:~ katie$ cd /Volumes/"Time Machine Backups"/

    -bash: cd: /Volumes/Time Machine Backups/: No such file or directory

    If Linc's suggestion doesn't work . . .

     

    Did you type that, or drag your TM drive into the Terminal window?  It looks like you may have mis-typed it.  Since the "cd" failed, the "rm" command was trying to empty the trash on your startup drive.

     

    Typing "cd" and a space, then dragging it from a Finder window should generate the correct path.

     

    Is there anything else on the drive, besides these backups in the trash?  If not, just erase it with Disk Utility.

     

     

    They are taking up about 1GB on my drive and it's more annoying than anything but if it happens again I want to know how to solve it.

    Are you planning to continue backing-up to this drive?  If so, and if there's other stuff on it, in the same partition, that's not a good idea.  See Time Machine - Frequently Asked Question #3 for details.

     

    If you deleted them to regain space, once the backups are in their own partition, TM will delete old backups automatically, when necessary.  In a pinch, if you need to delete them, while Apple says it's supported via the Finder effective with Lion, you can also do it via the TM browser.  See #12 in the above link.

    Worked like a charm...had a hard time using the terminal and your drag and drop of the dirve after "cd" sloved it!  The Option key hold down did not work and it took almost an hour to clear the trash through the terminal looked like this when all good:

    justinflinsimac:~ justinfranklin$ cd /Volumes/Time\ Machine\ Backups

    justinflinsimac:Time Machine Backups justinfranklin$ ls -a

    .                                                  KD Tech Web.muse

    ..                                                  MY BOOK BACK UP

    .DS_Store                                        MY BOOK BACK UP 2 Nov 2013

    .DocumentRevisions-V100                              Mom

    .Spotlight-V100                                        PAID BILLS

    .TemporaryItems                                        Scanned in old photos

    .Trashes                                        computer stuff

    .VolumeIcon.icns                              iMovie Events.localized

    .apdisk                                                  iMovie Library.imovielibrary

    .com.apple.timemachine.donotpresent          iMovie Original Movies.localized

    .disk_label                                        iMovie Projects.localized

    .disk_label_2x                                        iPhoto Library

    .fseventsd                                        iPhoto Library Recovered Photos

    03 Desert Rose.m4a                              iPhoto Library Recovered Photos_2

    Backups.backupdb                              iPhoto Library Recovered Photos_3

    Camera Uploads                                        iPhoto Library Recovered Photos_4

    Financial Accounting                              iTunes Music

    GI BILL                                                  tmbootpicker.efi

    HOUSE MANITOWOC

    justinflinsimac:Time Machine Backups justinfranklin$ sudo rm -rf .Trashes

    Password:

    Then just wait while it works...you will see the files disappear if you open trash---may take a while to get rid of them all if you did like I and had 15 backups in there!
  • mcdowesj Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 10, 2014 3:51 PM (in response to smo0f)

    smo0f wrote:

     

    Mine was something like "/Volumes/External_Disk/.Trashes/501".  That's the folder I deleted in the Terminal using "sudo rm -rf /Volumes/External_Disk/.Trashes/501". 

     

    If you still get a message about it being locked and unable to delete it, then you need to run "sudo chflags -R nouchg /Volmes/External_Disk/.Trashes/501" or whatever the folder is you're trying to delete, then rerun the rm -rf command. 

     

    Hope this helps.  Good luck.

     

    Perfect, really helped me out!

  • djstrat Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 21, 2014 2:07 PM (in response to bumper947)

    Thank you to

     

     

     

    open trash then hold down command option shift delete...this works for me

     

     

     

    Thank you so much this worked so fast! I had my trash full for probably 6 months if not longer.

  • Nonike Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 17, 2014 8:16 AM (in response to katiecat)

    i have the same problem ... i use the terminal method , and when it asks me to put my password i cant type i cant write any letter and neither i cant paste my password

    any solution ?

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