Stupid Mistake - Time Machine and Trash

If anyone knows how to correct this, let me know…it’s been ongoing for almost 4 hours now and slowing this M1 Mac Mini, 16GB Ram down.

I migrated from a mac mini to another mac mini. After migration, I wanted to make a Time Machine up. It’s the same drive that I used for previous macs. This time, there wasn’t enough space on it. I don’t know why I thought this was a good idea…clearly in hindsight, it probably wasn’t. I opened up a Time Machine through Finder found some backups from a previous machine I no longer used, dragged all the folders to the Trash.

Welcome to the Twilight Zone Trash Problem - It’s been almost 4 hours of “emptying Trash” and nothing has moved. Any suggestions on how to empty this trash out faster?


Unplug and reboot… did that help?

Tried that 2x. no luck.

None that I know of. I made the same mistake years ago and ended up rebooting my mac and formatting my TM drive.

so the only way is to reformat the TM drive? I don’t need to reformat my mac, right? It’s odd that it takes several hours to delete (ignorance).

I am wondering if do the “put back” option and then reformat the TM drive, would that work, or would that be more headache.

No need to do anything to your Mac, every drive has it’s own “Trash Can”. If you interrupt your mac emptying the trash I doubt if you will have any option except to format the TM drive and lose your old backup.

The old HFS+ Time Machine was a mass of pointers and files. It take a long time for your mac to sort through the spaghetti

I did this a couple years ago – deciding to delete a Time Machine on Time Capsule partition. Reboots and other attempts didn’t stop the process. The deletion finally ended 72 hours later.

Get a good book and relax.

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I’ve been through that. Maybe even more than once. And here’s the best part (if your experience is like mine): When it’s “finished,” there will still be some directories, with thousands of files in them, that didn’t get deleted. The only way I could figure out to delete them was to open the directory and select files directly (in groups of 50 or 100 or whatever) and delete them until the directory was empty. Then I could delete the directory.

Similar but different problem, resolved by free trial of DaisyDisk: How to delete purgeable space on external SSD?

I think if you add all of your drives to the exclusion part of Time Machine preferences and then reboot, it may stop.