1134 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Mar 26, 2008 12:11 PM by Klaus1
Sometimes it happens that the Finder just doesn't want to empty the trash anymore and says "The operation cannot be completed because the item "" is in use.". That's a good warning if it is true, but sometimes you want to get rid of an application and this warning appears even though the only thing running is the Finder. Usually after a restart you can delete it. But that is very time consuming and even then, it is sometimes still stuck not wanting to be deleted. There is a risky command that can be used in the Terminal that will empty the trash no matter what. Risky because a simple error in the syntax could erase a lot of stuff that you want to keep.
There is a much easier and quicker way of forcing the Finder to empty the trash no matter what! It is done in the freeware customization and maintenance application OnyX (download @ http://www.titanium.free.fr/pgs/english.html ). Once you loaded OnyX and entered your administrator password, choose "Cleaning" in the top bar. Click on the "Trash" tab. You can now choose whether you want to "Delete" or to "Securely Delete" (by overwriting) and click Execute. That's it, it will force the Finder to empty the trash even if the files are in use!
Also look at these links.
You can't empty the Trash or move a file to the Trash in Mac OS X
Solving Trash Problems
How To Fix Stubborn Trash and Why it Won't Delete
Download Trash It! v3.6.1 from:
Download DropNuke from:
Thanks to those that have answered so far... I am still having a few problems though and I think it may also have to do with the Permissions on the file.
These files are on a separate server, and not on my hard drive. When I am to delete them from the server, they are deleted completely and they do not reside in the trash unlike other files that have been on my desktop or hard drive.
When I look at the permission of the file, the 'Owner' is artsrv and the 'Group' is Artwork which are not the same as my Mac - Owner: Nudlz and Group: Admin on this Mac. Under the 'Access' and 'Others' section for this folder i can't delete is says Read & Write in all three areas.
I am not sure if this is purely a PC based thing and the original files were worked on a PC and therefore the Mac does not recognise the permissions and will not delete the folder. I am also not sure that I am able to repair the permissions as these folders reside on another server and not my hard drive.
Again any help would be appreciated - it bugs me that the only way I can delete these folders is to jump on a PC in another department and delete them via Windows (yuck!)...
Regards, Shaun (Sticks1977)