I have recently performed a clean install of OS X Yosemite, restoring docs and apps. Having already checked that everything works, I would like to delete from the Time Machine the old OS X to avoid wasting space. The only way I can see is erasing the Time Machine disk (which would be fine as I have nothing there that I want to restore) and doing it all again.

But I was wondering, is there a more efficient way?


If you have an Airport Time Capsule:

  • Open Airport Utility.
  • Click on your device and then on Edit.
  • Go to Disks tab.
  • Select Erase Disk...

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Otherwise, if you have a hard drive acting as Time Machine disk, erase or format it will be ok.

  • Then I guess there is no efficient way. – Hernan Feb 15 '15 at 18:21

If you use Terminal, it's easy.



If you're just wanting to delete specific files, not the whole back-up, then you want to Enter Time Machine on the source machine and once the interface has loaded (give it a moment to mount your back up drives if they're network drives) navigate to the folder/item you want to remove.

Select this item and then go to the 'Task' menu at the top of the Finder window (the cog icon) and choose 'Delete All Backups of "Your Files Name"'.

Time Machine will now go and delete all copies of just this folder/item on your backup; you may need to enter you password.

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