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joanne987 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

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
  • 1. Re: Trash won't empty
    Paul_31 Level 6 Level 6 (12,765 points)

    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

  • 2. Re: Trash won't empty
    joanne987 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks...I will try that.  Where is it in the finder?  Under what?

  • 3. Re: Trash won't empty
    Paul_31 Level 6 Level 6 (12,765 points)

    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'.

  • 4. Re: Trash won't empty
    joanne987 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you.  It worked for some of the items but still got the following error message:

    The Finder can’t complete the operation because some data in “.dat018f.113” can’t be read or written.

    (Error code -36)

     

    How is this emptied out?

  • 5. Re: Trash won't empty
    Paul_31 Level 6 Level 6 (12,765 points)

    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.

  • 6. Re: Trash won't empty
    joanne987 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Nothing worked.  What do I do with it now?

  • 7. Re: Trash won't empty
    Paul_31 Level 6 Level 6 (12,765 points)

    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.

  • 8. Re: Trash won't empty
    Paul_31 Level 6 Level 6 (12,765 points)

    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.

  • 9. Re: Trash won't empty
    joanne987 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    when I did the safe boot, the trash came up already empty.  Then when I restarted as normal from the apple computer the trash was full again and unable to empty like before.  I also lost my background picture...if that means anything?  Also, nothing else would have been on a different drive...I never had another drive.

  • 10. Re: Trash won't empty
    Paul_31 Level 6 Level 6 (12,765 points)

    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.

  • 11. Re: Trash won't empty
    X423424X Level 6 Level 6 (14,190 points)

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

     

    ls -la ~/.Trash

     

    Hit return and post the results.

  • 12. Re: Trash won't empty
    macpants Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    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.

  • 13. Re: Trash won't empty
    joanne987 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Is it safe to try

    ls -la ~/.Trash

     

    Want to be sure I won't erase the HD or do something else stupid by mistake?  Can I do something harmful with this or am I ok?


  • 14. Re: Trash won't empty
    macpants Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    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.

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