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Mac troubleshooting: What to do when the Trash won't empty

#1 User is offline   Macworld 

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:35 AM

Post your comments for Mac troubleshooting: What to do when the Trash won't empty here
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#2 User is offline   nbuck 

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  Posted 22 January 2013 - 04:03 AM

I use Secure Empty Trash for the troublesome files, and that often works fine.
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#3 User is offline   beardy 

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  Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:11 AM

Or just log out and in again.
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#4 User is offline   ShutterbugDoug 

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  Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:40 AM

So annoying that an OS this old still has issues like this, and which require extra time, effort and third-party solutions to fix. (:-(
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#5 User is offline   quakerotis 

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  Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:20 AM

Hoarding is an option. I've seen it on those reality shows. Maybe we could do a reality show about what kind of stuff is in peoples' trash.
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#6 User is offline   AChicagoan 

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  Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:57 PM

If you've been viewing your Finder window in "Cover Flow" mode and then go to empty the Trash, often that's the culprit making OS X consider the file in use. I've found that switching the Finder back to view by "List," "Column" or "Icon" resolves that and allows the Trash to empty.
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#7 User is offline   JoeKissell 

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  Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:52 PM

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I use Secure Empty Trash for the troublesome files, and that often works fine.


The estimable Dan Frakes recommended the same thing to me by email today. I hadn't heard of that trick before, and haven't tested to see which of these problems it may help with. But it's pretty easy to try (and quick, as long as whatever's in your Trash isn't too large), so by all means, give that a whirl.

Joe
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#8 User is offline   AKCook 

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  Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:58 PM

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Or just log out and in again.


I just restart. Problem solved.
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#9 User is offline   Flavum 

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  Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:45 PM

Why should I need to scroll down past an enormous Trash graphic to read this article? Is 1920x1200 insufficient resolution?
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#10 User is offline   stocklazarus 

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  Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:51 AM

It's still don't work for me. I try the terminal way and my 5 items still there. It seems those file is already GONE but somehow the "files" still appear in the trash. It seems like I first put those files from my Bootcamp partition into Mac OS trash, but not empty it. Then I go into Bootcamp and del the files by myself so they are GONE but Mac OS still "think" they exist.

What can I do?
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#11 User is offline   d00d 

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:07 AM

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However, all those utilities merely send OS X commands that you can issue yourself in Terminal. To do so, first open Terminal (in /Applications/Utilities). Type cd ~/.Trash and press Return. Then, type sudo rm -R followed by a space (don’t leave out the space character—it’s essential). Don’t press Return yet.

Next, click the Trash icon in your Dock to open a window displaying the contents of the Trash. Select everything in that window and drag it into the Terminal window; this action adds the paths of all those files and folders to the rm (remove) command. Now, press Return and enter your administrator password when prompted.
Seems awfully complicated when the following will do the same without any manual steps:
sudo rm -R ~/.Trash/*
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#12 User is offline   whitedog 

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  Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:36 AM

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Or just log out and in again.


Right. Like we all have time to shut down and restart everything when the trash chokes. Logging out and back in may work, but it's the long way around. And it may not work if the issue is a permissions problem. Trash It! and SecureEmptyTrash are quick, easy and reliable.
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#13 User is offline   whitedog 

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  Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:51 AM

Using the Terminal is fine if you like doing things the hard way. When one's available I prefer a utility that puts a simple UI on the process. Indeed, I've found Trash It! works when other more nerdy means do not. For instance, it has a Fast option for the more common stuck items and a Really Stuck option for the hard cases. SuperEmptyTrash has the added advantage of letting you choose which volume's trash you want to empty, in case you want to micro-manage the operation. I don't have anything against the Terminal when it's the only way to do something, but when there's an easier way I don't see the point. But hey, that's just me. YMMV. Some people just enjoy typing code, I guess.
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#14 User is offline   d00d 

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:13 AM

View Postwhitedog, on 23 January 2013 - 10:51 AM, said:

Using the Terminal is fine if you like doing things the hard way. *Snip* YMMV. Some people just enjoy typing code, I guess.
I wouldn't argue against a GUI tool for someone that prefers that, but I've been on a kick of not having so many one off applications installed on my machine. Besides, I do this so infrequently now (can't remember the last time I had to) that its just quicker to fire off a quick one liner than to go look through the plethora of apps that do this, pick the one I like, download it, install it, navigate the GUI, and finally empty the trash. That's just me though.
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