You’re on your Mac, MacBook Pro or Air and struggling to delete some files from your Toshiba external hard drive. So why won’t it work?
You get an error message saying no. Or perhaps your issue is as simple as you just don’t know how to delete files.
You’re in the right place and I’ll show you how I delete files from my Toshiba external USB drive.
How To Delete Files From Toshiba External Hard Drive On Mac A Summary
The steps below assume your Toshiba external hard disk is already formatted in a Mac format. And you just don’t know how to delete files.
1. Double click your Toshiba External hard drive icon on your Mac’s desktop.
2. Click to highlight the file, files or data to delete.
3. Press your keyboard’s delete key. Or right click. And from the menu that comes up pick ‘Move To Bin’.
4. Double click to open the Bin on your Mac.
5. Click on the ‘Empty’ button to completely delete the files from your Toshiba.
If these steps won’t work for you, it’s likely your Toshiba drive is an NTFS drive made for a Windows PC or Windows NT. Then read on for other ways to delete your data.
Why Can’t I Delete Files From My Toshiba External Hard Drive In NTFS On Mac?
When you’re doing your best to delete data from your Toshiba portable hard drive. But you get an error. The file seems sort of locked.
Then you’ll find your Toshiba drive is an NTFS drive.
NTFS stands for New Technology File System and it’s a file system format. The way the drive is laid out and how it writes its data to the Toshiba drive. This file system format is perfectly read and writeable by a Windows PC.
Apple reached a licensing agreement with Microsoft that allows Mac OS. – Your Mac operating system to read the files on a NTFS Toshiba external storage device.
But your Mac can’t write to an NTFS drive.
And deleting files from your Toshiba external storage device. Means erasing the file or files. And that means changing the information on the drive. Writing new information onto your Toshiba. And your Mac can’t do that.
Of course, you could take your drive to a Windows computer and delete the files there. But if you don’t want to do that, then.
You can delete files from your NTFS formatted Toshiba external drive on Mac by changing the file system format of your hard drive. – Reformat your external drive. Which is fine when you don’t want any of the files on your external drive.
Or use special NTFS driver software on your Mac to allow you to make changes to your Toshiba.
You can quickly check the format of your Toshiba drive.
Click on the linked text to read an article on the site all about how to do it.
How To Delete Files On Toshiba External Hard Drive From Mac The Steps
How you go about deleting your data depends on if you want to delete one file, a few files. Or delete all your files from your Toshiba drive.
How To Delete Files, Folders And Data From Your Toshiba On A Mac
When your hard drive from Toshiba is in a file system format your Mac can write to. And that means it’s in an APFS, Mac OS Extended or ExFAT format. You can follow these steps to erase and delete files. And folders or data you don’t want on your drive.
1. Connect Your Hard Drive And Then Click Your Toshiba External Drive Icon.
When you’ve connected your Toshiba Portable hard drive. Your hard drive icon appears on your desktop.
Double click to open a Finder window on your Toshiba hard drive.
Browse to the file or folder you plan to delete.
2. Click To Highlight The File Or Folders To Delete.
You do this by clicking on the first file. Then hold your shift key while you click on each file in turn you want to delete.
Or you can create a selection window. Click in a blank space in your Finder window near the first file. Then drag your cursor across all the files you want to highlight.
3. Right Click And From The Menu Pick ‘Move To Bin’.
Right click on your highlighted files. That brings up a menu. And from that menu pick ‘Move To Bin.
That moves your files, folders and data to your Mac’s Bin. This place on your Mac you’ll also find referred to as the recycle bin.
Likely because it’s where your space freed up and is recycled on your Mac.
But wait. Don’t skip away thinking you’re all done. There is one more step to do. This stops ghost images of your deleted file showing up on your drive.
4. Double Click To Open The Bin On Your Mac.
Before you go ahead with this step. This is your last chance to change your mind. Because right now you can go into your Mac’s bin. Highlight each of your files. And pick to recover deleted files from your bin.
If you carry on and change your mind later. You’ll be seeking out the services of a data recovery company. Or data recovery software to attempt to recover your files. With no guarantee you’ll get your files back.
Either: Right click on your Mac’s Bin in your dock. And click Empty Bin from the menu.
Double click on your Bin. This opens up a Finder window. And in that window you’ll find a button with Empty on it.
Click that button to empty your bin.
This is the final step for getting rid of your files completely.
And when you’re done with your Toshiba external hard drive. Eject your hard drive from your Mac computer. You do that by right clicking on your Toshiba’s drive icon and picking Eject from the menu.
This tells your Mac to write everything it’s holding in memory for your drive. Down to your Toshiba hard drive.
How Erase And Delete All Files And Data From Toshiba Hard Disk Drive On Mac
When your wish is to clear everything off your external drive from Toshiba. ALL your files and data.
You effectively want to start from scratch with your drive.
Then you use your Mac’s disk management software – Disk Utility.
It’s a standard part of Mac OS x.
And you use it to erase and delete all your files and data from your Toshiba hard drive.
You use Disk Utility to change your Toshiba from an NTFS Windows computer file format. To one your Mac can fully use.
And on a Mac that means APFS (Apple File System), Mac OS Extended, or the ExFAT file format.
To do this you. 1. With your Toshiba drive plugged into your Mac with its USB cable. 2. You start Disk Utility. 3. Pick Your Toshiba Drive in the External Drives List. 4. Click the Erase option at the top of the Disk Utility window.
5. Put in a Name for your drive. Choose APFS or Mac OS Extended file system and GUID Partition Map. 6. Click on the Erase button to format your Toshiba drive.
Wiping and clearing and deleting all files from your Toshiba external device only takes a few minutes. And you can find more detail on how to do it by clicking the link text. Format Toshiba For Mac to head to an article on the site all about it.
How To Manually Delete Old Backup Files From Toshiba Canvio External Hard Drive
Deleting old backup files from your Toshiba Canvio external device on a Mac. Depends on the version of the Mac operating system your Mac runs.
Mac OS versions before Big Sur gave you an interface inside Time Machine. This interface allowed you to remove old backup files safely. But since Big Sur no such interface exists.
And manually delving into your backup looking for the oldest files. Then deleting them yourself. Carries a very real of damaging your backup so your backup no longer works.
This is because the Time Machine backup software makes internal links throughout its backups. Links that make your incremental Time Machine backup work.
And there is no way you can manually recreate those links yourself.
But Time Machine senses when your Toshiba drive is too full for its next backup. And will delete the oldest backup automatically.
But if you’re on an earlier operating system release before Big Sur. You can:
1. Plug in your Toshiba external hard drive. And go into Time Machine.
2. Move Through To Your Oldest backup.
3. Right Click In The Time Machine Finder Window To Bring Up A Menu.
4. Pick Delete Backup.
Otherwise, if you’re on Big Sur or later. Another way to do this. Assuming you’re happy to get rid of your backup entirely. Is to reformat your drive. Then take another backup.
Or of course buy another Toshiba external hard drive and start backing up to that. Leaving your old backups alone, on your original Toshiba drive.
Thank you for reading. Now you know that when you want to delete files from your Toshiba external hard drive on your Mac. Your drive needs to be in a format your Mac can write to.
And once it is. Getting rid of those files you don’t want any more is straightforward.
While you’re here. Why not check out our other related posts about your Toshiba external disk drive.
About Paul Gregory
I’ve been a system administrator for various corporates for 15 years. And as admin I’ve helped many with their Mac’s and there many Apple devices.
I’m excited by watching users, armed with a little knowledge take control of their Mac’s and their files. And why not?
When I’m not at work or working on the site I like to chill with few beers. And watch a bit of car racing. From Formula 1 to stock car racing. The competition is my thing.