OSX TMUTIL Delete Error 2 Solution

If you want to manually delete older backups from your TimeMachine backup solution, then you have the option to use the command “tmutil”. If you open Terminal and enter tmutil, it will show a list of commands. You will need 2 commands to start deleting older backups.

tmutil listbackups

This will give you an overview of all backup points in your backup set.

sudo tmutil delete "/Volumes/Time Machine Backups/Backups.backupdb/<computername>/2022-08-17-013145"

Make note that you need to puth the path between quotation marks, or it won’t work and you will receive the dreaded error 2:

sudo tmutil delete /Volumes/Time Machine Backups/Backups.backupdb/<computername>/2022-08-16-232657
/Volumes/Time: No such file or directory (error 2)
Machine: No such file or directory (error 2)

If you do use quotation marks, it will delete the backup point and give you confirmation and some stats.

sudo tmutil delete "/Volumes/Time Machine Backups/Backups.backupdb/<computername>/2020-12-13-002549"
Deleting: /Volumes/Time Machine Backups/Backups.backupdb/ANDYIMAC/2020-12-13-002549
Deleted (10.2G): /Volumes/Time Machine Backups/Backups.backupdb/<computername>/2020-12-13-002549
Total deleted: 10.2G

If TimeMachine performs a backup when at the same time you are deleting backup points, you will have to do the listbackups command again. Else you cannot continue with deleting the old backup points and you will be shown the “error 2” message again.