Trashed Time Machine "inprogress" files will not delete

Some users have had trouble with Time Machine not completing backups. One remedy they have resorted to is stopping the Time Machine progress and deleting the ".inprogress" file.

Some users have had trouble with Time Machine not completing backups. One remedy to which these users have resorted involves stopping the Time Machine progress and deleting the ".inprogress" file. While this may fix the Time Machine problems for some users, for others it has presented a new one, where emptying the trash will not delete the ".inprogress" file.

As reported by user macamsterdam:

"My TM failed to complete a backup and based on user's tips, I have deleted the .Inprogress files from my time capsule so that TM can create a new backup file. Seems to be working, but now I cannot delete these files permanently. As soon as I connect to the time capsule the files appear in the trash bin again."

There have been other instances in which stubborn files will not delete -- in these cases, Terminal commands are needed to remove the files.

Mac OS X stores trashed files in either ".Trashes" folders at the root of the drive or in a ".Trash" folder in the user account. For backup and other external drives, deleted files will be placed in the "/.Trashes" folder and should be removable by using terminal commands in that location.

Fix

Use the following procedure delete all trashed files, including the ".inprogress" file.

Launch the Terminal (located in /Applications/Utilities and type:

  • sudo rm -rf /Volumes/backupvolume/.Trashes/*

"backupvolume" is the name of the Time Machine drive)

Enter your admin password when prompted and the files should be deleted.

While this command should work, if it does not then apply it to all attached volumes. Instead of using the Time Machine drive name in place of "backupvolume" in the command above, put the name of another mounted hard drive and run the command. Then do this for all other attached drives to clear their trash folders.

Resources
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