When deleting a file from a time machine backup via the following command:

sudo /System/Library/Extensions/TMSafetyNet.kext/Contents/Helpers/bypass rm -r LOCATION

the file is deleted immediately, but often a remnant of it remains seen in the Finder (the file or folder is still shown, but cannot be opened, it is a 0kb file). Even after unmounting and remounting, the issue remains. Is there a solution? Can the backup be "reindexed" or something via tmutil?

That will not work. The Time Machine drive mounts are not a standard file system format. It works completely differently were it stores versions of a change(s) to the files. So what you see in the Finder or at command line is not the actual file system.

So deleting a file in one place leaves other versions of it around. It is a REALLY bad idea to manually try to manually modify a TM drive via command line. You can easily corrupt the whole thing.

If you want to completely remove a file from TM safely and effectively you have to go through the TM app. Just find the file you want to completely remove in the TM app and right click on it. Then select "Completely Remove". It can take a while since it has to go back and remove every version of that file.

  • Is there any way to not have the time machine app in full screen? You can't even switch to another desktop and since it's so slow to delete this is a major pain. – Wesley Jan 14 at 11:38
  • No, I am pretty sure that is intentional so you can not modify the file system while it is looking at, comparing to, or modifying the file system. – BrianC Jan 18 at 19:33

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