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Question: I can't empty trash

Somehow seven folders from Time Machine have entered the trash and I can't empty them. I'm getting messages that the folders and items are in use for all seven. Other non-related items are still being emptied normally.


I followed all of the suggestions in an Apple support bulletin published on Nov 13, 2017 and thought I had solved the problem when I saw that the trash was empty, but after restarting my MacBook Pro the same files reappeared and again could not be emptied.

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Apr 7, 2018 7:10 AM in response to jstonge2 In response to jstonge2

You still need to erase the partition containing the items in its Trash, since they will appear whenever that partition is mounted.


Partitioning is ok, as long as you understand that a catastrophic failure of the drive is likely to render all its partitions simultaneously lost.

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Mar 17, 2018 9:48 PM in response to jstonge2 In response to jstonge2

Erase the drive containing those files. That's the only way to remove files protected by SIP. Move whatever you need from that drive before erasing it (obviously).


About System Integrity Protection on your Mac - Apple Support

Mar 17, 2018 9:48 PM

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Mar 19, 2018 7:53 AM in response to jstonge2 In response to jstonge2

Assuming you have 2 backups (is that right?) so if something goes wrong you can recover from the one you're not going to work on:


(CAREFULLY READ the link John Galt posted and decide if to proceed or not as this is not a recomended procedure)


1st step: disabling SIP and emptying trash

1) restart from Recovery Partition

2) launch Terminal from the menus

3) digit "csrutil disable; reboot" and press ENTER

4) empty trash from the disk you wish to - don't touch the second


2nd step: re-enabling SIP

1) restart from Recovery Partition

2) launch Terminal from the menus

3) digit "csrutil enable; reboot" and press ENTER

Mar 19, 2018 7:53 AM

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Question marked as Helpful

Apr 7, 2018 7:10 AM in response to jstonge2 In response to jstonge2

You still need to erase the partition containing the items in its Trash, since they will appear whenever that partition is mounted.


Partitioning is ok, as long as you understand that a catastrophic failure of the drive is likely to render all its partitions simultaneously lost.

Apr 7, 2018 7:10 AM

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Question: I can't empty trash