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In mysql 8, what is a recommended and safe way of removing old bin logs other than with "PURGE BINARY LOGS..."

After disabling binary logging on mysql (with skip-log-bin) I have 500GB of unneeded bin logs. I have no immediate plans of reenabling it, but don't want to break anything if I decide to use it in the future. Is it safe to manually remove them (ie., rm binlog.xxxx) and truncate the index file (echo > binlog.index) perhaps? Since bin-log is disabled, the documented and typically recommended purge commands are unavailable.

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Instead of manually removing the files, you should use purge statement to purge all binlogs which is safe.

show binary logs -- Pick up the last binary log & purge it.

Yes, you can do rm binlog.XX & remove index file also. This is last option used when nothing works.

But before manually removing that please verify that below statement returns empty rows.

show master status;

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