I am trying to remove an old custom color label from a file in Finder, but it will not deleted.

When I remove it by right clicking on the label "Web Design",I will be notified that, if I delete the tag, it will delete it from some files. When I select Ok, it doesn't remove it from the sidebar and files.

The files that are using the color tag are located in my Time Machine backup. When disconnect my TM HDD from my Mac, it will disappear, so it will only live on my TM copy.

Running Big Sur 11.6

Is there a possibility that I can remove the tag permanently, because I don't use that one?

Update I tried different thing like adding new labels and remove the "Web Design" tag, but this result in nothing.

Also when I click on the tag icon button in Finder when the file is selected, the label will be grayed out.

  • Is your Time Machine backup drive attached when your try to remove the tag? If yes, then temporarily stop Time Machine and remove the backup drive and try to remove the tag again. Oct 8, 2021 at 19:25
  • Then the label is disappeared. After connecting TM again, it will show up.
    – Caspert
    Oct 8, 2021 at 19:39
  • What version of macOS are you running? Oct 8, 2021 at 19:55
  • I don't know if this might work, but could be worth a shot - apple.stackexchange.com/questions/428515/…
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 9, 2021 at 8:59
  • @Tetsujin I tried your link but still can't delete the tag. The tag doesn't exist anymore on my Mac, but only in Time machine. Since I use TM everyday, it will still show me that tag. When looking in my Finder-preferences, it has a dash instead of a checkmore or nothing. I run macOS Big Sur 11.6
    – Caspert
    Oct 18, 2021 at 19:56


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