How to Delete Old Time Machine Backups on Mac? Using 3 Simple Ways!!

In this article, we will explain about how to delete old time machine backups on Mac with using 3 incredible easier methods. In the end, you will say that it is easy task and I can do it!!

How to Delete Old Time Machine Backups on Mac

Time Machine is an amazing in-built app that allows you to automatically incremental back up files on your Mac and Macbook to an external drive and internal drive. Due to incremental backup, your Time Machine is able to keep several versions of files, and easier to undo changes or restore removed files and folders.

Before going to ahead, you should be known that Apple removes all oldest backups on your external and internal hard drive if you are getting to worry about to lose space. So you don’t have to need to remove these files manually.

How to Delete Old Time Machine Backups on Mac

If you are using macOS Time Machine App for backups then your files are stored into two different locations in your Mac. First, actual backup files are stored into your external hard drive, and other second local snapshots, which are grabbing every day, are stored in your internal hard drive.

Here, we will guide you both about how to delete old time machine backups on Mac’s external hard drive and internal hard drive. How’s here?

Let’s start!!

Getting to Delete  Backups Using Time Machine App

It is incredible easier method to remove old backups from your Mac with using of <Time Machine app>. It allows you to remove backups at a certain date or specific file across all dates. How’s here?

  • Firstly you have to connect your external backup drive with your Mac and Macbook
  • Now open <Time Machine> app. For this, launch Launchpad or Spotlight and then type <Time Machine> in their search bar.
  • Next you can choose your backups which you want to remove at a certain backup date or file name.

Backup date: You can use timeline on the right side of your screen otherwise having to navigate with using arrows to backup date.

File or Folder Name: Using <Finder window> to navigate your files or folders which you want to discard.

  • Once you have been selected data or file which you want to remove, and then hit on <> three dot ellipsis button in your Finder and can be selected Delete Backup or Delete All Backups of [Your File].

How to Delete Old Time Machine Backups on Mac

  • Now it will ask you as confirm to delete backup, and then you have to introduce Mac administrator’s password.

Getting to Delete Time Machine Backups Using Terminal

If you are getting to problem while removing backups from your Trash, then we will suggest you for using Terminal command.

  • Firstly you have to launch <Terminal>. To do this, press <command + space> on your keyboard and write <ter> then hit on Enter key or choose <app> from elevated search result.

How to Delete Old Time Machine Backups on Mac

  • Now write <sudo rm -rf ~/.Trash/> command in the command line and then hit on “Enter” for getting to execute it.

How to Delete Old Time Machine Backups on Mac

    • Next you will get pop up window for putting administrator password and then mention it in and hit <Enter> to validate for confirmation. If it is doing to work properly then you will view new line for putting commands.

How to Delete Old Time Machine Backups on Mac

  • This command is used for getting to empty your trash through Root user, but it needs administrative privileges.

NOTE: If your command line option gets to fails with showing , and then you have to need provide terminal <Full Disk Access>

How to Delete Old Time Machine Backups on Mac

  • But you don’t forget to reset <Full Disk Access> option back to for Terminal. If you wish to maintain original protection settings then visit to change it, as presenting in image above.

Getting  Delete Backups on a Mac using Finder

Finder also allows you simple interface to remove your backup on Mac and Macbook. How’s here?

  • Firstly open your Finder app from your Dock otherwise at the top Menu bar.
  • Now getting to connect your external storage device (hard drive) and then having to wait for it to view in your device section that is located at the left sidebar.
    • Next go to <backupdb> along with your drive, and then have to go into subfolder labelled with Mac’s name.

How to Delete Old Time Machine Backups on Mac

  • In this window, you will see subfolders with organized by their date. Then you can delete these folders which are linked with < Time Machine backup>, and make right click and choose <Move to Trash>.

    How to Delete Old Time Machine Backups on Mac

  • Now you have to need empty your trash with making right clicking on trash icon in your Dock and then choosing <Empty Trash>.

How to Delete Time Machine Snapshots

While getting to set up Time Machine on your Mac, local snapshots start getting to create automatically, once every 24 hours. These snapshots are kept in your internal hard drive until you are getting to low on storage space. If this situation is occurred then Mac will start remove automatically those oldest snapshots.

If you are getting to worry about these storage backup then you can do disable it and remove these file manually. How’s how?

  • Firstly open <Terminal> app on your Mac computer through your Finder or Spotlight search bar.
  • Now you have to enter this command into your Terminal like as: <sudo tmutil disablelocal>
  • And press <Enter> key

Now your all local snapshots will be deleted which are existed into your internal storage.

We highly suggest you to re-enable it, to do this:

  • Launch your Terminal App on Mac
  • And then type the command <sudo tmutil enablelocal> into your Terminal, and then press key.

Now your Time Machine again will be begun over keeping your local snapshots to your Mac’s internal storage area.

Getting to Turn off Automatic Backups

If you are getting to headache to clean up your storage and old and useless data and you can get to disable automatic backups. To do this:

  • Go to Apple icon and click on it
  • Next click on <System Preferences> option
  • Then you will see <Time Machine> and make double click on it.
  • Now you have to uncheck option for Automatic Backup on the left side in your window.

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