How to free up space on linux ext4

I have a spare drive with 100gb on it that I use for backups and timeshifts. I needed to delete the backups from rescuezilla so booted into zorin and ran nautilus from elevated terminal. I deleted the files from rescuezilla (well sent them to rubbish bin) to free space for another snapshot but the drive is still showing as full. How do I delete the hidden files because they are not showing in nautilus?

If you deleted the files through the file manager (nautilus) the contents are still there since the Trash bin mechanism allows for them to be restored. So, simply empty the trash bin or delete from it those files that belonged to the external hard drive.

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Trash says access denied or an error has occured? What now?

Did you also launch Nautilus as root to delete the trash files?

I ran sudo nautilus but it said access denied is there another way to empty the trash?

Use method 02 here:

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Or try under Settings -> Privacy -> File History & Trash -> Empty Trash. Also try the other button "Delete Temporary Files", I think this may actually be the one that applies in your case.

If you trash files in root, it will go to root trash and will need root privileges to delete them.
If you trash files in home, it goes to the home trash directory and root privileges are not needed.

You may need to clear out journal log entries, clean apt cache, run autoremove and if you have Timeshift or DejaDup, remove old backups. You only need one or two backup copies...
But those backup programs often just keep saving new copies, stacking them up in massive bricks.

Clear log entries:

journalctl --vacuum-size=500M

Clean apt cache and automatically installed dependencies that are no longer needed:

sudo apt clean && sudo apt autoremove

Method 2 didn't work no such file or directory. I ended up deleting the partition from disks and recreating, then creating a new snapshot. @zenzen I will remember that for future use.

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