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alansky1 Level 1 (35 points)
Since installing Snow Leopard, I've noticed that files I've thrown in the Trash can't be deleted until I quit the app that handled the file. For example, if I attach an image to an email message, send the message and then delete the original file, I can't empty the Trash (even an hour later) until I quit Mail. Same for .rtf files opened in TextEdit. This seems screwy. Comments appreciated.

20" iMac 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo, Mac OS X (10.6), 13" 2.53GHz MacBook Pro
  • George Thomas Level 1 (130 points)
    Same problem here; documents which should be "trashable" when in the Trash Can just won't delete.

    I think this is just a problem with the fact that 10.6 is so new; there are bound to be glitches.
  • Russa Level 4 (1,315 points)
    .. just as a check, after the upgrade to 10.6, did you run "repair permissions" in Disk Repair?.. are these files open when you attempt to trash them and empty the trash? If so, then close them first.
  • alansky1 Level 1 (35 points)
    Yes, did repair disk permissions after upgrading to 10.6. And no, files are not open. Not a big deal, but definitely weird!
  • Azqi Level 3 (710 points)
    Yes, that happens at times. Sometimes the apps haven't really let go, and this has been that way since before Snow Leopard. In my experience, at least.

    It will sometimes take a little bit of time, say a minute or so after closing the app. And then sometimes simply doing a second try of emptying the Trash after a minute or so works out.

    And yet, on rare occasion just having had selected them in the Finder or an info window was a problem, but not so much so in Snow Leopard.

    I believe there was a support article on this for previous versions. It essentially said the workaround was to restart and then the Trash can be empty in those rare circumstances. In other words, next time you start up, you should be able to empty the trash.

    If you choose to continue emptying the Trash when it gives that error, it will at least delete everything else. From what I've noticed, it's improved quite a bit with Snow Leopard.

    I'm not usually needing more disk space that soon anyways. Still plenty of space remaining and I try to make sure to keep it that way. As such, I don't usually worry about. Often there's a folder named "Recovered items" (or something like that) in the Trash when I start up, so it's not like it's unusual for there to be something in Trash at start up anyways. As such, I probably don't really notice it much anymore.

    You can try relaunching the Finder and see if that does it, but that would seem extreme for me. I'd just keep doing whatever else I want to do until the next time I decide to empty the Trash. I often quit apps anyways instead of leaving them open all the time. It keeps them out of my Cmd-tabbing when I don't have any documents open. And they restart fast enough that it doesn't matter.
  • alansky1 Level 1 (35 points)
    For me, this seems to be a problem only with Mail attachments at the present time. I can empty the Trash as soon as I quit the Mail app. Not a big problem, but not correct behavior either.
  • alansky1 Level 1 (35 points)
    Update: It now appears that files I download from the internet (as well as Mail attachments) cannot be deleted from the Trash until I log out and log back in. Very inrritating at this point. I'm getting the "The operation can’t be completed because the item [filename] is in use" message way too often. And, of course, the files in question are never actually in use at all.
  • Azqi Level 3 (710 points)
    Just out of curiosity… Are you emptying the Trash with the Trash window open?

    Sometimes when I do that I get that message. So, I wait a moment and empty it again but without opening Trash window. I tend to use the keyboard shortcut, but you can also try the menu from the nenubar or Dock.
  • alansky1 Level 1 (35 points)
    Nope. Never empty Trash with the Trash window open.
  • Semper Fidelis Level 1 (15 points)
    As a variation on this theme expressed in this thread, when I try to empty my Trash right after deleting something, I now routinely get a message from Trash that says,

    "The operation can’t be completed because one or more required items can’t be found. (Error code -43)".

    I have no idea what the supposedly missing items are; Snow Leopard doesn't say. However, if I wait a minute or two after deleting something, the system empties the Trash and I no longer get that message.

    Incidentally, I, too, ran Repair Disk Permissions from Disk Utility after I installed Snow Leopard. When I did, permissions were repaired successfully, with these two notable exceptions:

    "Warning: SUID file "System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ ent" has been modified and will not be repaired."


    "Warning: SUID file "System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/DesktopServicesPriv.framework/Versions/A/Reso urces/Locum" has been modified and will not be repaired."

    I don't know what I can do about that -- or if I even need to do something about it, or if it's something related to my inability to empty my Trash immediately after deleting something; it's just something reported by Disk Utility now that I've installed Snow Leopard.
  • bdobson Level 1 (20 points)
    If you have repaired permissions, double checked that no programs are running. Even rebooted and it is still there you could try holding down the Option key while you empty trash. That should force it to empty, in use or not.
  • Ken Marks Level 1 (105 points)
    Try updating to 10.6.1.
  • ouzoman Level 1 (5 points)
    This still occurs in 10.6.1. Restarting the machine is the only remedy I've found so far . . .
  • alansky1 Level 1 (35 points)
    Fortunately, I don't have to restart. Logging out is sufficient. But it's a minor irritant for sure.
  • ouzoman Level 1 (5 points)
    you're right - a restart is overkill . . . logging off also does it - I'll agree, an irritant nonetheless.
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