Removing Mac OS X ACLs and Extended Attributes

Recursively Removing ACLs

chmod -RN /path/to/directory

Recursively Removing Extended Attributes

All attributes

xattr -rc /path/to/directory

Specific attributes

ls -l@
xattr -rd com.apple.NAME /path/to/directory

Here are the types of files that I know actually care about extended attributes.

  • .DS_Store
  • Text clippings (any time you select text, click and hold on it, then drag it to the desktop)
  • Web links (same as a text clipping but it's a url)
  • Icon files (get info on an item, click it's icon in the Get Info panel, copy, then go to another Get Info panel and paste it)

Recursively Removing Files in Time Machine backups

You can delete files using the Time Machine app, but if you want to do more then that, there are ways to do it with the Terminal. To delete some files in a Time Machine backup.

tmutil delete /Volumes/[disk]/Backups.backupdb/HOST/DATE_FOLDER

To completely delete all backups use bypass. Note, you should not use this to delete some files because using bypass + rm will delete files in other backups, so if you want to delete only some, use the tmutil option.


sudo /System/Library/Extensions/TMSafetyNet.kext/Contents/MacOS/bypass rm -rfv /Volumes/[disk]/Backups.backupdb


sudo /System/Library/Extensions/TMSafetyNet.kext/Helpers/bypass rm -rfv /Volumes/[disk]/Backups.backupdb

Copyright 2016 James Reynolds