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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Mar 16, 2010
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    2
    Unhappy Help! Securely Emptying Trash Question!
    I have been trying to securely empty my trash because there are a ton of files in there and its slowing down my mac. However, it won't let me securely empty it because it says a file is in use (HD Clean Up) which I downloaded from the apple site but never used it just deleted it..

    Let me know if there's a way around it or what i can do???

    Thanks,

    - dunzy -

  2. #2


    Member Since
    Sep 09, 2009
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    Back to my old 2.2GHz C2D MB after selling my MBP and wondering what my next Mac will be :)
    Welcome to Mac Forums
    Just go to to utilities>activity monitor, and quit the process.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Mar 12, 2010
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    102
    Specs:
    mbp
    drug this up if its any help.

    "If you do it through the Terminal it is nearly always considerably faster:

    rm -rf ~/.Trash/*

    However it can be noted that this won't delete files that appear in your Trash from external hard drives, other partitions, etc. Those files are stored at /Volumes/NAME_OF_DEVICE/.Trashes/USER_ID where USER_ID is your user ID. (Usually 501 on a single user system) and you'll have to remove them using a second command. (sudo rm -rf /Volumes/*/.Trashes/501/* should do all of them for you)

    As always when using rm -rf be completely sure the path you've typed into the Terminal is correct or you're liable to delete much more than you mean to. (eg. a space before a * is never good)

    As to why the Finder takes so long, the Finder does some extra work of deleting files from all the devices attached to a computer, overriding permissions if necessary (using a subprocess called Locum), file stats, among others."

    also, check to see that "Empty trash securely" is not set. This erases files multiple times, so it takes much longer to delete.

    The setting is in Finder's Preferences on the Advanced page. I've heard that sometimes a Snow Leopard upgrade accidentally sets this option.

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Mar 11, 2009
    Posts
    469
    Quote Originally Posted by james_b View Post
    drug this up if its any help.

    "If you do it through the Terminal it is nearly always considerably faster:

    rm -rf ~/.Trash/*
    Using rm is a) dangerous and b) defeats the purpose of securely emptying the Trash. Secure Empty is slower because it is more intensive than "normal" empty, which is just a front end for rm anyways.

    If securely emptying the Trash is not what you wanted to do and just wanted to empty your Trash normally, don't use rm. There is no speed gain and a newbie will probably end up deleting their home folder.

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Sep 09, 2009
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    5,484
    Specs:
    Back to my old 2.2GHz C2D MB after selling my MBP and wondering what my next Mac will be :)
    The OP is stating that he or she cannot securely empty the trash because he gets an error message that the file is in use (HD Clean Up) which he or she downloaded from the apple site but never used it, and just deleted it.
    There is a running process, and I'm guessing an uninstall was required rather than just deleting.
    So, I think other than my suggestion earlier, reinstalling and using the uninstaller, and if there isn't an uninstaller, using Appcleaner to remove it.

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