Skip navigation

Trash won't empty

13847 Views 69 Replies Latest reply: Feb 16, 2014 10:07 PM by PandoraBob RSS
1 2 3 ... 5 Previous Next
joanne987 Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Apr 27, 2012 7:02 AM

My trash won't empty...each time I try it says sevearl files are in use when they are not open.  I have restarted the computer and tried to empty the trash ans still says it is in use.  There are many files...possibly picture files.  How do I get all the files to empty out?

iMac
  • Paul_31 Level 6 Level 6 (12,220 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 27, 2012 7:27 AM (in response to joanne987)

    From the Finder menu try selecting 'Secure empty trash'. If that fails have a look here for suggestions:

    http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/trash.html

  • Paul_31 Level 6 Level 6 (12,220 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 27, 2012 7:36 AM (in response to joanne987)

    Click on the desktop and Finder is in the menu bar, top left next to the Apple logo. You'll then be able to select 'secure empty trash'.

  • Paul_31 Level 6 Level 6 (12,220 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 27, 2012 7:56 AM (in response to joanne987)

    Try downloading the free Trash It: http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/8214/trash-it!

     

    If that fails, give that link a read in my first post which has a bunch of other suggestions.

  • Paul_31 Level 6 Level 6 (12,220 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 27, 2012 10:35 AM (in response to joanne987)

    OK, did you try a 'safe boot'. Restart holding down the shift key until you see a grey progress bar. When it boots try to empty the trash and then restart as normal from the Apple menu.

  • Paul_31 Level 6 Level 6 (12,220 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 27, 2012 10:39 AM (in response to joanne987)

    Also, is it possible that the files that won't delete were files that were on an attached device that is no longer attached (external drive, usb stick, etc). If so re-attach the drive and then empty trash.

  • Paul_31 Level 6 Level 6 (12,220 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 27, 2012 11:39 AM (in response to joanne987)

    Afraid I'm stuck for other ideas. The xlab link I gave above normally provides a solution to trash problems.

    Hopefully someone else with other ideas/suggestions will spot this thread and offer some clues.

  • X423424X Level 6 Level 6 (14,190 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 27, 2012 11:43 AM (in response to joanne987)

    Open terminal (in Utilities) and copy/paste the following line:

     

    ls -la ~/.Trash

     

    Hit return and post the results.

  • macpants Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 27, 2012 1:17 PM (in response to joanne987)

    I had the exact same problem on my 2010 MacPro running Lion.  Absolutely nothing worked, not even the reccommended terminal commands. ( I tried rm -rf ~/.Trash/* ).

     

    Eventually Trash It worked but I had to do it two or three times.

     

    One good bit advice I got was to try starting your Mac in FWTDM (FireWire Target Disc Mode) and delete your Trash contents by connecting it to another Mac.  Fortunately mine worked before I had to resort to this.

     

    Good Luck.

  • macpants Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 27, 2012 1:53 PM (in response to joanne987)

    The ls command is safe.  'ls' is simply a list command.  The -l bit adds further detail such as permissions and the 'a' bit (all) allows the command to return hidden and system files.  In effect this command 'Lists' everything in your Trash folder and nothing more.

     

    If you are not comfortable using command line in the shell (Terminal) I would advise caution with the 'rm' command I suggested.  This command is the 'remove' command - effectively a delete.  Caution because Terminal wont question the command.  If you type it wrong you could delete more than you bargained for.  You dont get any polite nudge asking you if you are sure like you do in the GUI.

     

    Try persevering with 'Trash It' for Mac or 'Onyx' for Mac if you are unsure about terminal.

1 2 3 ... 5 Previous Next

Actions

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)

Legend

  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.