Deleted old Time Machine backups to Trash...please help!

Discussion in 'macOS Sierra (10.12)' started by SRLMJ23, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. SRLMJ23 macrumors 65816

    SRLMJ23

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    New York
    #1
    I did something foolish, which at the time I had no clue was actually foolish but anyway...

    I deleted old El Capitan Time Machine backups and put them in the Trash on Sierra. Well now I cannot get Trash to delete OR it starts to, however, it is hundreds of thousands of files and would take probably 12+ hours to delete. I tried to do Force Delete but it is not working, and I have no clue what to do now. Please, someone help! Thanks in advance.

    :apple:
     
  2. CTHarrryH macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    #2
    Let it delete overnight or ?? I don't know of anyway to instant delete. Takes a long time when you delete a really big file also.
     
  3. Alrescha, Sep 23, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2016
  4. !!! macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2013
    #4
    You made a big mistake. You need to use the tmutil command to actually delete backups properly. The backups are internconnected, as only changed files are backed up, and unchanged files are linked. I recommend you wipe your TM HD via Disk Utility and start new backups.
     
  5. SRLMJ23 thread starter macrumors 65816

    SRLMJ23

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    New York
    #5
    So, how would I go about using tmutil to delete this, or can't I now? My Time Machine Backup is on an external hard drive and I just selected all and moved to trash from there. It's weird to, when I disconnect my external hard drive which is my Time Machine all the files disappear from trash. Why is that?

    :apple:
    --- Post Merged, Sep 23, 2016 ---
    Okay, so I just wiped my Time Machine partition on my external HD and all the files disappeared from Trash. Does this mean they are gone, or just hidden? Appreciate the help.

    :apple:
     
  6. !!! macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2013
    #6
    You can't use tmutil after you deleted it.

    It's not weird that the files are gone from trash when you remove the drive, because the files are still on the HD, just moved to that HD's trash folder.

    Yes, all the files are "gone". No one can easily see them without expensive disk recovery software.
     
  7. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #7
    For the future: You don’t need to use tmutil, the Time Machine app can do this too. The Finder window of Time Machine has a context menu (the cog icon in the toolbar or the menu you access by right-clicking on the canvas of Finder) which allows you to delete the backup you are currently viewing. You won’t see it disappear immediately, it might take a while before Time Machine sorted this out (I’m speaking in terms of minutes).

    When interacting with Time Machine, whether for deleting or restoring stuff, always use the Time Machine app. Never ever, ever should you use Finder for this. I recommend you remove the Time Machine volume from your sidebar in Finder.

    Screen Shot 2016-09-24 at 09.40.09.png
     
  8. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong

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