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Cannot empty trash on Imac MAC High Sierra 10.13.6

  oscarehr 20:05 02 Feb 2020

Hi I have deleted big old back up full folders on Time machine to create more space on my external hard-drive, but Trash refuses to empty [hence no space made available on hard-drive. Please help. Not even sudo rm -R with Terminator has any effect??!! I am using MacOS High Sierra 10.13.6. PLEASE HELP URGENTLY!!!

  bremner 13:12 05 Feb 2020

This is obvious but worth saying - you do still have the external hard drive connected when trying to empty the Trash

  Kestion 06:30 20 Feb 2020

Time Machine keeps a backup — a separate copy — of your files. You can specify what is backed up and where it is backed up in the Control Panel “Time Machine”.
The Time Machine backup is in a highly specialised internal format whose function is to prevent duplication. (I would not try deleting manually from within the target destination without knowing exactly what I was doing.)
Of course, deleting the originals of the backed-up files is not going to get rid of the backup.
I am inferring that you have deleted (i.e. tried to delete) the actual Time Machine backup file from your designated Time Machine backup disk.
Presumably, the Time Machine system is protecting you from yourself, so to speak — preventing the user from unknowingly trashing the Time Machine backup manually. You could try as follows.
• Put the Time Machine backup files back where they were (using the Put Back command in Trash).
• Open the Control Panel “Time Machine”.
• Use the “Select Disk…” button there to release the backup volume that you want to delete.
• Now you should be free to go to that volume and trash its contents.

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