Time machine files in trash

Discussion in 'macOS' started by zalle, Feb 25, 2018.

  1. zalle macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    #1
    Hi guys, need a little help here:

    I deleted some older time machine backups (I shouldn't have, now I know), and they are in the trash.

    I'm trying to delete the files but I get a message saying "The operation can’t be completed because the item “Macintosh HD” is in use."

    Macintosh HD is my internal drive.

    This is a 2013 iMac and it's running on Sierra.

    How do I delete the files in the trash?
     
  2. yellow8 macrumors member

    yellow8

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2017
    #2
    You should not delete time machine backups using the Finder. This leads to problems like you 're having.

    You can :
    - Erase your external drives using the Disk Utility
    - Remove your files from the external drive via the Terminal app so they do not go to the Trash

    BUT: why would you manually remove time machine backups ? It's normally an automatic process and you should not interfere.
     
  3. zalle thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    #3
    Hi yellow8,

    I appreciate your help.

    I understand I should not have erased my backup files. Thing is I was in the middle of some backup stuff to the external drive I also use for time machine, and it ran out of space, so I deleted some backup time machine files (stupid...).

    I then found out that Time Machine was cleaning backup files for itself, and it cleared 600GB, BUT I now have some files in the trash (if I remove the external drive, the trash files disappear).

    They're not even using space really, but they are there, and it's annoying. Look:

    Screen Shot 2018-02-26 at 11.45.52.png
     
  4. elf69 macrumors 68020

    elf69

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2016
    Location:
    Cornwall UK
    #4
    plug the TM drive back in and select items in the trash and restore.

    they are symbolic in trash they are still on the external.

    Then let TM automatically remove them when it needs to or as said remove with terminal commands.
    do not interfere with TM process.
     
  5. zalle thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    #5
    Well... I have a PUT BACK option on other files, in the trash, but not on these files. The PUT BACK option does not come up.
     
  6. elf69 macrumors 68020

    elf69

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2016
    Location:
    Cornwall UK
    #6
    probably due to fact TM files are not editable.

    Terminal might be your only option.

    Personally I do not know how to do it with terminal.
     
  7. yellow8 macrumors member

    yellow8

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2017
    #7
    When you delete files on an external drives, it is symbolic-linked to the trash.
    So to solve your problem, I would suggest to :
    - plug the external drive
    - open Terminal.app
    - enter the following command: cd /Volumes/<your drive name>/
    - enter the following command: sudo rm -rf .Trashes
    --> This will remove the deleted files (that are in the trashes) and effectively free up the space on your drive
     
  8. Sheller macrumors newbie

    Sheller

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2012
    Location:
    Toronto
    #8
    Just wanted to say thanks for this! I went about clearing time machine space the wrong way (through Finder) and this fixed the issue! Cheers!
     
  9. zalle thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    #9
    Hey, I guess it worked... Thanks yellow8 !!

    Just one more question If my drive name is composed by 2 words "Backup Home" for example, the following command does not work: cd /Volumes/Backup Home/

    What do I do? something like Backup_Home Backup.Home or similar?

    Thanks
     
  10. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #10
    You can use a backslash followed by a space, e.g. /Volumes/Backup\ Home, or put quotation marks around the path, e.g. "/Volumes/Backup Home".

    Another good tip is to use the auto-completion feature by pressing the tab key. When you start typing /Volumes/Bac and then press the tab key, it will complete the path for you.
     
  11. zalle thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
  12. mcfitz5 macrumors newbie

    mcfitz5

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2018
    #12
    It worked!!! It actually works! Thank you! Thank you!
    --- Post Merged, Nov 28, 2018 ---
    This was super helpful too putting the " " around "/Volumes/Backup Home"! Thank you!
     
  13. samsantiago1976 macrumors newbie

    samsantiago1976

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2019
    #13
    This worked. THANK YOU!!!!!
     

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12 February 25, 2018