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  1. #1

    Tarek's Avatar
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    15" MacBook Pro 2.4 GHz Intel Core i5
    Can not empty the trash?
    Hello guys,

    As the title says, I'm trying to empty my trash but everything is still there. Whenever I press empty and then press OK on the pop up, it does the emptying sound and the window closes but everything is still in there. I've been trying that for a week now and failing.

    Can someone please help me empty my trash?

    Thank you very much.

    Tarek

  2. #2


    Member Since
    Dec 24, 2006
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    N. Ireland
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    901
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    Mac Pro 2xQuad core 2.8GHZ
    Sounds like you may have deleted files from an external drive or cruzer/pen drive, without emptying the trash. Reconnect the drive then try emptying the trash.

  3. #3

    Tarek's Avatar
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    I never connected any external or cruzer/pen drives. That's awkward.

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Dec 24, 2006
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    Mac Pro 2xQuad core 2.8GHZ
    OK so do a reboot and then with no apps open try to empty the trash, and report back to us

  5. #5
    satrop
    Guest
    Also, try this.

    Hold down the "alt" key click on the trash can, then on "Empty Trash" still holding the alt key and all items in the trash should go!

    Let me know if that works.

  6. #6

    Tarek's Avatar
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    I've tried both methods but none of them worked.

    Thank you for caring to reply!

    Any other suggestions?

  7. #7

    louishen's Avatar
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    Oct 22, 2007
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    London
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    Mac Mini Core i7 2012 | White 2009 MacBook 2 Ghz | 733 Mhz G4 Quicksilver
    Onyx lets you do a force empty trash
    Member of the Month September 2008 & August 2012 | Found advice useful? Ė use the rep system

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Feb 08, 2009
    Posts
    3
    I found the solution
    Check below

  9. #9


    Member Since
    Feb 08, 2009
    Posts
    3
    I found the solution
    Quote Originally Posted by Tarek View Post
    I've tried both methods but none of them worked.

    Thank you for caring to reply!

    Any other suggestions?
    I was having same problem.....I tried every thing to delete it..but it was not letting me do....

    all i did was....i just drag the files which I wanted to delete and put on my desktop.....and they come with asking password...i put password...and the file just disappeared....I believe that this could be an error in os x..and some hidden file came as a part of trash.....which should not get delete....

    so just drag out from trash...and they will just disappear...

  10. #10


    Member Since
    Feb 08, 2009
    Posts
    3
    Finally solved completely
    Quote Originally Posted by shahjinan View Post
    I was having same problem.....I tried every thing to delete it..but it was not letting me do....

    all i did was....i just drag the files which I wanted to delete and put on my desktop.....and they come with asking password...i put password...and the file just disappeared....I believe that this could be an error in os x..and some hidden file came as a part of trash.....which should not get delete....

    so just drag out from trash...and they will just disappear...
    in reality...Even that was also temporary solution...Finally I had to dig harder...than I thought...

    this is a complete working solution....published by person named Skorzy

    Solved the problem! Some more digging around in the discussions here found the solution. I'll paraphrase how I solved my problem here:

    Its apparently a file in Windows that uses unallowed file names. The only way to fix this is through Windows "chkdsk" utility.

    1. Boot into Windows
    2. Click on "My Computer"
    3. Get "Properties" on your C: drive
    4. Click "Tools"
    5. Click "Error-Checking" and enable the box for "Automatically fix errors"
    6. Click apply.. and Windows will need to re-boot and "schedule" a disk-check on next reboot. Be sure to hold down your "Option" key during reboot (if you are running your Windows through Boot Camp). Re-boot into Windows
    7. Disk Check will automatically run and you'll see an error in ".\.Trashes\501" It will automatically fix this.
    8. When its all done, Windows will automatically reboot normally.
    9. Reboot back into OS X and that strange alias will be gone!

  11. #11

    scathe's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 12, 2009
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    ok I got a bit confused on the above posts

    if you have a file you can't remove, you can always try from root through the terminal with the "rm" command

    the only time I couldn't empty my trash was, as mentioned above, when I deleted something on an external drive which wasn't connected when I emptied

  12. #12

    Dysfunction's Avatar
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    Mar 17, 2008
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    Tucson, AZ
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    Way... way too many specs to list.
    depends on the file, there have been instances where you can not remove the file because its name is not reproduceable. In some of these instances a find wouldn't even do it, while removing it from a windows boot would.
    mike
    This machine kills fascists
    Got # ? phear the command line!

  13. #13

    scathe's Avatar
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    I messed around a bit and actually ended up deleting my trash just to see what happens, but it should be simple to delete your files

    the trash itself is at ~/.Trash so you can easily cd into there and delete whatever you like, and if you do so as root then you shouldn't have any restrictions and might even be able to delete your mysterious files

    so here it goes:
    su root
    cd .Trash //assuming you are in your home folder, otherwise its /Users/*user*/
    rm -r *filename* //this goes for files
    rmdir -r *filename* //this for folders

    I should also mention, don't fiddle around as root too much
    and when logging as root you will be in the same dir as before, but here home is not the same as on your regular account (I think its var/root)

    EDIT:
    one more: "rm -Ri *" will remove everything inside a directory, BUT BE CAREFUL with this one, doesn't sound right !BE CAREFUL WITH THIS ONE!
    I know people fool around with similar commands, but it just gets you really mad, because by default the rm command is not verbose and will not ask you if you are sure, even then ppl are dumb enough ...

  14. #14

    Dysfunction's Avatar
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    Mar 17, 2008
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    Tucson, AZ
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    Way... way too many specs to list.
    you can't recursively delete directories with unreadable filenames dude. Nor can you delete them.

    I've even written scripts to try by inode, no dice.
    mike
    This machine kills fascists
    Got # ? phear the command line!

  15. #15

    scathe's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 12, 2009
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    Prague, Czech Republic
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dysfunction View Post
    you can't recursively delete directories with unreadable filenames dude. Nor can you delete them.

    I've even written scripts to try by inode, no dice.
    I apologize
    I didn't realize the mentioned files were unreadable, just so far I've been able to sort all my funky files with rm

    sry for misleading guys

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