12 Replies Latest reply: Oct 21, 2015 2:32 AM by lokendra_singh
mickamice Level 1 (0 points)

when I press secure empty trash : the items load up then when I press either of the options (locked or unlocked) it stays on screen for a few seconds then disappears ??

iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.5)
  • LexSchellings Level 6 (8,717 points)

    Quit all apps (really quit from the menus), especially Preview.

    Start Terminal and copy/paste

    sudo rm -Rf ~/.Trash/*

    hit enter

    it asks for your password, type it and hit enter,

    quit terminal.

    Restart the iMac.

    Should help

  • Praiano Level 1 (0 points)



    I have followed your instructions as per what you stated and all the files in the trash have gone.


    Have the files in theory been deleted as if i had clicked on secure empty trash?



  • LexSchellings Level 6 (8,717 points)


  • edwardfrebow Level 1 (0 points)

    Hello I tried to enter the code into the terminal window and received the following message:


    unable to execute /bin/rm: Argument list too long

    Any ideas?

  • LexSchellings Level 6 (8,717 points)

    You mean the empty trash command?

    Click CTL+CMD+click on the TrashBin icon: then choose "secure empty trash".

    If that does not want to do it, read my post above completely: use Copy/Paste to enter the command, and make sure you are in the main Terminal window, not in any folder or subfolder, like /bin.....).

  • edwardfrebow Level 1 (0 points)

    Hello. Thank you for your help. When I follow your directions using the

    terminal window I get the following message: unable to execute /bin/rm:

    Argument list too long. I have over 100K items in my trash folder. Could

    this be the problem?





    Edward Frebowitz

    615 406 3255


    On Tue, Dec 23, 2014 at 9:20 AM, Apple Support Communities Updates <

  • LexSchellings Level 6 (8,717 points)

    No it is not.

    Your Terminal starts obviously in the wrong folder.

    Can't you just empty the folder in the normal way (it may take long)

  • edwardfrebow Level 1 (0 points)

    I can but it seems to be taking hours. I'll let it run and see what

    happens. Thank you for your help.






    Edward Frebowitz

    615 406 3255


    On Tue, Dec 23, 2014 at 11:25 AM, Apple Support Communities Updates <

  • benichismo Level 1 (0 points)

    Based on further information that I have found files are not securely deleted by the instructions originally given.  I don't know if the command I'm about to give was available at the time that Lex gave their response but to securely remove files you must use the command "srm" not "rm" to perform a secure removal/deletion.


    sudo srm -Rf ~/.Trash/*

  • benichismo Level 1 (0 points)

    If you still have files remaining after using that command one possibility is that there are locked files that even the super user (use of sudo) cannot delete.  These files must be unlocked before they can be deleted.  Please exercise caution with all commands that utilize "sudo" and wildcards, "*".  Command to recursively unlock any remaining files is as follows:

    sudo chflags -R nouchg ~/.Trash/*

    After running the above command then again run the "srm" command and any files that were locked will now be removed.

  • MorgenBailey Level 1 (0 points)

    Hello everyone. I had this problem too and got to the password stage but my Mac wouldn't let me enter my password. I got round the whole process by moving (cmd / mouse drag) the items from my MBPro's Trash folder onto an external hard drive and I deleted them from there.

  • lokendra_singh Level 1 (0 points)

    Command-lineis always helpful, and it did the trick. Thanks for the help.