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Are you using an external hard drive for TimeMachine backup?
Are you using it to store other data as well?
Didn't you divide your hard drive it into a data and TimeMachine partition? (Hell No ...!)
Now you're running out of free disk space and need more room? (Hell Yes ...!)

Solution #1: Buy another (bigger) hard drive.

Solution #2: Remove some old TimeMachine backups to recover some space.

To do the later, open up a Console and type in this command:


bash-3.2# tmutil listbackups


You'll get a list of backups available on your hard drive, which looks something like this:


/Volumes/My Passport/Backups.backupdb/Gianpaolo Del Mattos MacBook Pro/2009-12-05-145734
/Volumes/My Passport/Backups.backupdb/Gianpaolo Del Mattos MacBook Pro/2009-12-18-204014
/Volumes/My Passport/Backups.backupdb/Gianpaolo Del Mattos MacBook Pro/2010-01-01-020640
[...]
/Volumes/My Passport/Backups.backupdb/Gianpaolo Del Mattos MacBook Pro/2011-12-10-064156
/Volumes/My Passport/Backups.backupdb/Gianpaolo Del Mattos MacBook Pro/2011-12-10-074201
/Volumes/My Passport/Backups.backupdb/Gianpaolo Del Mattos MacBook Pro/2011-12-10-110239


Now if you feel, that you won't need any old backups anymore (like I do for the pre-2011 backups, you can remove them easily like this:


bash-3.2# tmutil delete "/Volumes/My Passport/Backups.backupdb/Gianpaolo Del Mattos MacBook Pro/2009-12-05-145734"


Note: Don't forget to enquote the string to cope with white spaces, otherwise you'll get an error message.

Now if you want to be a bit more efficient, you can delete multiple backups at once.
Let's say, we want to delete all 2009 and 2010 backups, this command will do:


tmutil listbackups | grep -E -e '20(09|10)-[[:digit:]]{2}-[[:digit:]]{2}-' | while read backup;
do echo "Working on backup '$backup' ..."; tmutil delete "$backup"; done

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