How to Deleted Old Backups on WD My Passport for Mac

Updated to Mac Disk Clean Tips by Amy on Jul 18, 2022 | Approved by Jennifer Allen

WD My passport is a good drive for creating backups on Mac as it is paired with Apple’s Time Machine backup software which helps ease the process of backing up your Mac. Time Machine is an amazing tool used for backup creation. Time machine automatically deletes the oldest backup whenever you want to make a newer backup though sometimes, Time Machine doesn’t do this and you will have to do it yourself. So you might have been wondering about how to delete backup files from WD My Passport Ultra.

With time and use, your WD My Passport drive gets full with older backups which may need to be deleted because the older they get, the more useless they become. This tutorial will teach you about the situations in which you may need to delete and how to delete old backups on your WD My Passport for Mac in two different ways.

Quick Navigation
Part 1. Reasons for Why Need to Deleted Old Backups on WD My Passport
Part 2. How to Delete Old Time Machine Backups on WD My Passport on Mac
Part 3. How to Clear Junk Files on WD My Passport for Mac

Part 1. Reasons for Why Need to Deleted Old Backups on WD My Passport

  1. To free up Space for newer backups
  2. Whenever your WD My Passport is running out of space, you may be unable to perform any other backup process. As a result of this, you are required to delete older backups to make room for newer backups. Also, you may need to use your WD My Passport to keep other information such as videos, audios, and documents so freeing up some space by deleting old backups can be handy in times of need.

  3. To avoid buying and owning more than one WD My Passport drive
  4. When your WD My Passport gets filled up, rather than purchasing a newer My Passport drive, you can just delete older backups to create space for the newer ones. This is cost-effective as it prevents you from purchasing a new one and it also prevents you from using more than one My Passport drive which protects you from data management problems involving two or more disks at a time.

  5. To remove backups that may contain malware
  6. Sometimes, though rarely, some system backups contain malware such as viruses which were present in the system at the time of backup. If these backups are not very necessary, deleting them is the best solution as restoring them later can activate the virus in your Mac which may be a chaotic move as this may lead to further destruction of your Mac’s system.

  7. To use WD My Passport for other purposes than backing up
  8. Some users will not want to use their WD My Passport for backing up so they will prefer to delete backups present in it and rather use their WD My Passport as a storage device for other things as well as a transfer device to meet their day to day needs.

Part 2. How to Delete Old Time Machine Backups on WD My Passport on Mac

Normally, Apple deletes old backups automatically in order to make room for more recent backups. Sometimes, these backups are not deleted automatically and as a result, they may need to be deleted manually. There are two different ways explaining how to delete old backups on WD My Passport on Mac; you can delete using the Time Machine app or you can delete using Finder on Mac.

1. Using the Time Machine App to Delete Old Time Machine Backups

When you want to delete backup files using the Time Machine app,

  1. Plug your WD My Passport into your Mac.
  2. On the menu bar, Click on the Time machine icon and choose Enter Time Machine.
  3. Then click on the Gear icon.
  4. Finally, choose Delete Backup and if asked by Mac, enter your password.

This process will help you delete any type of backup file using the Time machine app and is the most recommended method to go about deleting old backups.

2. Using Finder to Delete Old Backups on Mac

Using Finder, you can also be able to delete old backups on Mac. To proceed with Finder,

  1. Connect your WD My Passport to your Mac.
  2. Next, select your WD My Passport by clicking on it; located below Devices in the panel on the left-hand side of the windows.
  3. Inside the drive, go to Backups.backupdb and go into the subfolder named after your Mac.
  4. You will see a list of subfolders organized by dates.
  5. Choose and delete the folder containing the backup you want to delete by right-clicking on it and choosing Move to Trash.
  6. Right-click on the trash icon in your Dock and click on Empty Trash.

This permanently deletes backups for your Mac. If you have been thinking about how to delete old backups on your passport, the above instructions will guide you through the process.

Please note that you can delete the files manually without the use of Finder and Time machine apps but it can lead to corruption of your system if a backup is not properly handled and restored as well as it takes times to be done given that it involves thousands of files.

Part 3. How to Clear Junk Files on WD My Passport for Mac

Junk files are files that are temporarily created by programs that are running or as a result of the installation of an application. They take up space in your My Passport drive and may equally prevent the creation of a backup. To delete these junk files, you can make use of the best cleaning app for Mac known as iBeesoft iCleaner. This is a tool that permits you to permanently delete useless files on Mac. It enables you to clean up all types of useless files and this helps to boost up your Mac’s performance as well as the external hard drive’s performance. It is a simple application and very easy to use.

To clear Junk files on WD My Passport;

  1. Download and Install iBeesoft iCleaner on your Mac.
  2. Plug your WD My Passport and click on "Start Analyze" to check out the space occupied by junk files in your WD My Passport.
  3. Check the details of all the file types analyzed as junk.
  4. When finished, click on "Clean Junk". This will start the cleaning process and enable you to free up space on your WD My Passport occupied by useless files.