How to Remove Time Machine Backups from Trash OS X/macOS

If you have ever manually deleted a Time Machine backup from your Time Machine volume and then tried to empty your trash you will have noticed that the files are not being removed and it seems that you are unable to empty your trash.

I am not 100% what causes this but I do know how to fix it using Terminal.

  • Open Terminal
  • Type cd /Volumes
  • Type ls (this will list the attached drives so you can find the name of your timemachine if it is named differently)
  • Type cd followed by the name of your Time Machine Volume - I would type cd Time\ Machine here as my backup volume is named Time Machine. Notice the trailing slash after the first part of the name of the volume. This is necessary if you have a volume name with a space in it
  • Type ls -a (this will list everything in your timemachine - not necessary but gives you a visual help)
  • Type sudo rm -rf .Trashes
  • After entering the above command you will have to enter your Password (your keystrokes do not show in Terminal when typing a password, so keep typing even though you see nothing appear)
  • Any Time Machine backups that were in the trash will now be deleted

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