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How Do I Empty the Trash With Time Machine Backup Files?

I have stupidly tried to make room on an external drive which is set up via Time machine by moving old backup files to the waste bin :-( These files will not empty and I am at a loss as too how to empty the bin?

Comments: 3 Responses to “How Do I Empty the Trash With Time Machine Backup Files?”

    3 years ago

    Yes, that will corrupt your Time Machine backup. You should let Time Machine handle that drive, don't try to directly work with the files, and never put anything else on the drive manually or anything like that.

    There is no need to erase old versions of files on your Time Machine backup. Not only will Time Machine doing that on its own, but you may be erasing the ONLY version of that file. For instance, if you erase all files from 3 years ago, then you'll be erasing the only copy of files not updated in three years, including potentially important ones.

    I would just erase the drive and start a fresh Time Machine backup.

    Eric Leberg
    2 years ago

    But I still have a trash can full of time machine files I stupidly put in there. How do I get the out?

    2 years ago

    Eric: Select them and choose File, Put Back. If you can't do that for some reason, then you'll probably need to erase your Time Machine drive as you have probably corrupted it by moving those files. Start a fresh new backup. Hard to say for sure without being there to diagnose though.

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