# Mac – How to Safely Delete an in-progress Time Machine Backup on Snow Leopard

snow leopardtime-machine

Okay, so somehow a computer I'm helping to manage has got a total of three .inprogress backups on its Time Machine drive that it doesn't seem to be able to tidy up; it's creating new backups without any issue, it just gets stuck on the finishing stage, presumably trying to get rid of the in progress files.

On Lion or later I would just use tmutil delete to get rid of this safely, however Snow Leopard doesn't have this.

I don't want to use the bypass utility with the rm command as I believe that will destroy the contents of hard-linked folders, resulting in other backups becoming incomplete if they had links to the same folder(s).

Is it safe to delete a Time Machine backup using Snow Leopard's Finder, or is there some other alternative I could try? Will tmutil's delete command run if I transfer tmutil from a Mountain Lion machine? I know it won't be able to trigger backups etc. since backupd won't support it, but can the delete command still work on Snow Leopard?

• After trying various techniques the only solution I've found is to connect the Time Machine volume to a machine with a newer version of OS X and run tmutil from the command line, I believe any version from Lion onwards should have this. The command to run is as follows:
tmutil delete '/Volumes/<time_machine_volume>/Backups.backupdb/<computer_name>/<backup>'

Replacing the parts in angle brackets with the correct values or, if you have the backup visible in the Finder, simply type the tmutil delete part in the Terminal then drag the folder onto the Terminal window to enter the path automatically.