9 Replies Latest reply: Apr 21, 2012 10:41 AM by R2G
R2G Level 1 (0 points)

I have a Mac Mini with OSX Lion.  When I tell it to empty the trash it takes a minute or so to "prepare" to empty then tells me I have over 330,000 items in the trash can... it tells me some of them are locked so I tell it to delete all files.  It then tells me that the operation cannot be completed because I do not have permission to access some of the items. 


What's this all about????? How did 330,000 items get in my trash? Why can't I delete them? I've had this Mac less than a week... any ideas???

Mac mini, Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,335 points)

    Open the Trash. What's in it?

  • Russa Level 4 (1,315 points)

    ohoh, sounds like someone might have dragged and dropped maybe your home folder to the trash. Is that possible? Did you drag any folders from the finder menu bar to the trash.. or something similar?

  • R2G Level 1 (0 points)

    It only shows me a handful of things, a few apps that I deleted, a couple folders, but no system folders or anything...

  • R2G Level 1 (0 points)

    Anything is possible I guess... but it doesn't show anythign like that when I open up the trash...

  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,335 points)

    Back up all data if you haven’t already done so. Before proceeding, you must be sure you can restore your system to the state it’s in now.


    Launch the Terminal application in any of the following ways:


    Enter the first few letters of its name into a Spotlight search. Select it in the results (it should be at the top.)


    In the Finder, press the key combination shift-command-U. The application is in the folder that opens.


    If you’re running Mac OS X 10.7 or later, open LaunchPad. Click Utilities, then Terminal in the page that opens.


    Drag or copy – do not type – the following line into the Terminal window, then press return:


    sudo ls -ARl .Trash /.Trashes /Volumes/*/.Trashes


    You'll be prompted for your login password, which won't be displayed when you type it. You may get a one-time warning not to screw up.


    The command may produce a huge amount of output. If it does, stop it by pressing the key combination command-period, or closing the Terminal window.


    The output will be a list of files that are in the Trash, including files you can't see in the Finder.


    If you're sure you want to delete all those files, following the instructions here:


    You can't empty the Trash or move a file to the Trash

  • R2G Level 1 (0 points)

    It sound slike what happened was the we've been using a sata hard drive from a previous iMac as external storage and someone took everything from that drive (from the old iMac) and drug that into the trash, not anything partaining to the current Mac... could this be creating some problem?

  • R2G Level 1 (0 points)

    I tried all of these, it says it's deleting items in the trash, but it still lists over 370,000 items and it's deleting them one at a time... am I just going to have to wait 6,000 hours for this to just run it's course??

  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,335 points)

    Select  ▹ Force Quit... from the menu bar, then select Finder and press return. From the Finder menu bar, select Finder ▹ Preferences ▹ Advanced and uncheck the box labeled Empty Trash securely. Try again to empty the Trash.

  • R2G Level 1 (0 points)

    You fixed it! You're my hero!