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Question: How Do I Remove Time Machine Deleted Back Ups From The 'Trash' On My iMac

OS X 10.13.4 on a late 2009 27" iMac. I have, via Time Machine, not Finder, deleted the 16 oldest backups from an external HDD. When the external HDD is ejected from my iMac, the files disappear from my iMac's 'Trash'. When the external HDD is turned on and connected to my iMac, the files appear in my iMac's 'Trash'. When I empty my 'Trash' with the external HDD connected and the backups showing in the 'Trash', a dialogue box opens telling me 'The operation can't be completed because the item "folders" is in use.' These files do not show up on the external HDD itself. Does any one know how to 'empty' this "Trash'?

iMac, macOS High Sierra (10.13.4), A1312 27" 2.93 GHz i7 Core 8GB 1TB

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If the nuclear option for Trash that CrashBurner posted does not work (I've seen many times with TM files it does not)

then the quickest and easiest way to resolve this is to erase the TM disk and start over.

In the future, never attempt to delete TM files via Finder. They will always get stuck in the Trash.

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May 26, 2018 1:47 PM in response to deadflowers57 In response to deadflowers57

When I did it, I had to do it from Terminal. It took forever too. Those Time Machine backups are very large. The Terminal command I ran was:


sudo rm -rf ~/.Trash/*


It forces the Trash to empty.


Best of luck!

May 26, 2018 1:47 PM

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May 26, 2018 1:23 PM in response to deadflowers57 In response to deadflowers57

If the nuclear option for Trash that CrashBurner posted does not work (I've seen many times with TM files it does not)

then the quickest and easiest way to resolve this is to erase the TM disk and start over.

In the future, never attempt to delete TM files via Finder. They will always get stuck in the Trash.

May 26, 2018 1:23 PM

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Question: How Do I Remove Time Machine Deleted Back Ups From The 'Trash' On My iMac