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How Do I Delete Old Time Machine Backups In Mojave?

Want to clear up some space on my time machine, noticed I have some backups on there for a computer I no longer have so I want to delete them. Connected my time machine to my computer and opened the disc, but did not see the old formate for back ups, instead I see something like this
“Larry’s MacBook Pro.sparsebundle”

and it won’t let me deleted it

Comments: 7 Responses to “How Do I Delete Old Time Machine Backups In Mojave?”

    3 years ago

    You don’t. Time Machine manages itself. It will keep a single copy of every file you have, and then additional old revisions of files as space allows. When space gets low, it will remove old revisions of files.

    It does this on its own and you don’t need to do anything. In fact, there is nothing you can do as there are no controls over this. Do NOT try to modify the files manually as it could corrupt the Time Machine backup and cause all sorts of trouble.

    Larry Hinkle
    3 years ago

    Thanks, I was afraid of that, so the old copies of my old computer (the one I no longer have) will remain there till I wipe the disk. You are always a great help, thanks!

    3 years ago

    Larry: So you have multiple Time Machine backups on one drive? From another computer? So you see “Larry’s MacBook Pro.sparsebundle” and also “Larry’s NEW MacBook Pro.sparsebundle”? Or something like that? I assumed from your question that you wanted to delete old files from the SAME computer.

    You can just delete the entire bundle for the computer you don’t use anymore. But you said it won’t let you? What is happening when you try? Is there an error message?

    Larry Hinkle
    3 years ago

    Here are my three backups
    Kaye’s 2017 iMac.sparsebundle
    Larry’s MacBook Pro.sparsebundle
    Lawrence’s MacBook Pro.sparsebundle
    The stuff I want to get rid of is the Larry’s MacBook Pro
    I can move that to trash and I get a message “Deleting” but after several minutes I get the following
    “The operation can’t be completed because the item “bands” is in use”
    I think I’ll just whip the whole drive and start over

    3 years ago

    Control+Click on the item in the Trash and select Delete Immediately. See if that helps. If not, restart your Mac and try it again.

    3 years ago

    It never gets to the trash and I tried a restart and then moving it to trash. Thanks for all the help, really enjoy your site

    Bill Atherton
    2 years ago

    Larry: Did it work?

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