Time machine backups - empty trash

Discussion in 'macOS Sierra (10.12)' started by Lizziejh, Feb 19, 2017.

  1. Lizziejh macrumors member

    Lizziejh

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2016
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    I have time machine backups on my external hard drive which I deleted.

    I can see them in the trash folder on the external hard drive. But, the problem is, I cannot delete them from trash and they are using space I need on the drive.

    My question is how do I remove backups from the trash. I get the error 'the operation can't be completed because the item folders is in use' and also 'the operation can't be completed etc, because spindump is in use'.

    Thanks
     
  2. casperes1996 macrumors 68030

    casperes1996

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    Horsens, Denmark
    #2
    Spindump should probably finish up shortly. Have you tried disabling Time Machine from System Preferences and then deleting the trash?
     
  3. Lizziejh thread starter macrumors member

    Lizziejh

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    Jun 12, 2016
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Hi, yes I have disable it.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 19, 2017 ---
    What I am needing to do is delete the files from the .Trash folder located in the root of the external drive I used for Time Machine.
     
  4. m4v3r1ck, Feb 19, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017

    m4v3r1ck macrumors 68020

    m4v3r1ck

    Joined:
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    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #4
    1. Put back the file from trashcan to your TM disk!

    2. Go to TM Preferences and DELETE the mounted disk you use for TM back-ups. This will unmount the disk, unlock it to delete it again, you'll then be able to wipe the trashcan!

    Cheers

    edit: deleted strange "TM" font
     
  5. casperes1996 macrumors 68030

    casperes1996

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    #5
    If it still claims it is in use, you could try attempting to delete it from Single-User mode if you know your way around the command line interface. That way it's unlikely any process will be using the files.
     
  6. CoastalOR, Feb 19, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017

    CoastalOR macrumors 68000

    CoastalOR

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #6
    Why did you manually delete the backups?
    Time Machine will delete the oldest backups automatically if more space is needed. It is generally better to let Time Machine manage the backups since manual intervention can damage the Time Machine file links. Here are some links to information that you might find interesting:
    http://pondini.org/TM/12.html
    http://pondini.org/TM/Works.html
     
  7. casperes1996 macrumors 68030

    casperes1996

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    #7
    I don't think what he meant was that he needed more space for backups, but that he wanted to store something on there that wasn't backups, and that he no longer needed any of the backed up data
     
  8. Lizziejh thread starter macrumors member

    Lizziejh

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2016
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    Yes that's it exactly casperes1996

    I have now managed to delete the unwanted folders from the disk trash using the Maintenance app. Thanks for everyones help.
     
  9. m4v3r1ck macrumors 68020

    m4v3r1ck

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    Nov 2, 2011
    Location:
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    #9
    You're most welcome! Glad you fixed it. Do you mind sharing with us what/how exactly you managed (steps you took) your fix. It will come in handy for other members too. Appreciated!

    Cheers
     
  10. Lizziejh thread starter macrumors member

    Lizziejh

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    UK
    #10
    I took advice and downloaded the app Maintenance, selected only trash and it cleaned the drive of all the unwanted folders.
    Having said that, I now know how to delete an old backup when in time machine and in future will use that method.
     
  11. casperes1996 macrumors 68030

    casperes1996

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    #11
    Thank goodness for the guys at http://www.titanium.free.fr for apps like OnyX, Maintenance and that last one that I forget the name of, but is also part of OnyX. They've been making nearly irreplaceable apps for Macs since like what? Jaguar? Love those guys
     
  12. m4v3r1ck macrumors 68020

    m4v3r1ck

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    Nov 2, 2011
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    #12
    Thanks for reporting back!

    Cheers
     
  13. m4v3r1ck macrumors 68020

    m4v3r1ck

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    #13
    Will download the app asap and have a look at it. Thanks for the link!

    Cheers
     
  14. sufferincats macrumors newbie

    sufferincats

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    Nov 5, 2017
    #14
    --- Post Merged, Nov 5, 2017 ---
    what is the Maintenance App? I have the same problem: can't delete time machine file from trash.
     
  15. CoastalOR macrumors 68000

    CoastalOR

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    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #15
    It is a App created by Titanium Software mentioned and linked to in Post #11
     
  16. sufferincats macrumors newbie

    sufferincats

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    Nov 5, 2017
    #16
    Thank you.
     
  17. Closehauled macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2017
    #17
    Hello!
    I have the same problem, read all the thread and installed Maintenance but it's not working.
    When I turn on my mac the thrash looks empty (I guess that's my Mac's trash) then if I go into time machine/data/macbook air ebundle file Time machine backups appears under device (it's ejectable) and the trash icon fills so I guess this is my time machine backup trash with all the backups I moved to be deleted.
    If I eject Time machine backups the trash icon becomes empty again.
    When I try running maintenance to empty the time machine trash I keep getting messages like "The operation can't be completed because the item Library is in use", and many others (Item system in use, item folder, item libexec, share).
    Any idea?
    Thanks!!!
     
  18. sufferincats macrumors newbie

    sufferincats

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2017
    #18
    --- Post Merged, Nov 28, 2017 ---
    Hi Closehauled, I give up. Don't want to install maintenance. Will buy another 2 TB hard drive and backup the files on the one with the locked time machine file and reformat it. That should get rid of it, I hope. I never liked time machine and for years have backed up all the data files manually.
     

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