At times, the folder and the files that you intentionally delete from your Mac are not permanently deleted. These files are simply transferred to the Trash. Occasionally these stubborn folders and files just refuse to get deleted. There is a possibility that the particular file is simply locked, or is still in use or it may contain a special character which makes your Mac think that it’s precisely very important to be deleted.
Whatsoever the reason might be, here are a few ways on how to force empty trash on Mac and rid of all those unwanted folders and files that take up space.
The Immediately Delete Option
This easy and effortless keyboard shortcut will help you to force empty your trash on Mac. You need to simply press the control key and while still holding it, right click on the folder or file in the trash bin and select the option ‘Delete Immediately’. Using this option you should be able to remove all those unnecessary files and folder from your trash bin.
Confirm whether the folder or file is currently still in use
If in case, while deleting your trash from the trash bin, the error ‘File in use’ appears on your screen then, try to shut down the app which is still using the particular folder or file. But if you are confused and you do not know which app is using it then you need to close all the apps that are running. You can now go back into the trash bin and attempt to empty it.
Force empty that stubborn trash!
It is a possibility that at times the folders and the files you want to delete are locked and hence you cannot delete it from the trash. Press and hold the ‘Option key’ and then select the ‘Finder’ option. This method should certainly help you to clean up your trash, as this method enforces the OS X force empty feature that gets around all the locked folders and files and in turn empties all your trash.
Note: Files and folders that have been deleted using this method cannot be restored back again. Hence, if you want to restore the files on Mac that have been deleted from the trash you will have to rely on some third party tools.
Third party tools
You will find several third party tools that will help you to get our job done. But these tools use the ‘Terminal Command’ and hence you should use this only as your last resort to empty you trash bin on Mac. Therefore, such tools are not recommended.
How to force empty trash on Mac by means of Terminal Command
Remember to use this option only when the above fixes fail to help you to clear out your trash bin. This method will delete all your locked folders and files without giving you any kind of alert message. Hence, one needs to be really careful with this option and keep in mind to follow these steps exactly how it has been directed below:
sudo rm -rf ~/.Trash/*
This used to be used before but it no longer works on El Capitan or Sierra. But in case your OS X is 10.10 and anything above, follow the steps that have been mentioned below:
- Open the Terminal Command on your Mac.
- Type in the command that has been mentioned below and remember ‘NOT TO PRESS THE ENTER KEY ON YOUR KEYBOARD’.
“sudo rm –R ”
Also make note that this command will absolutely not work if you do not add a space after the letter R.
- From the ‘Dock’, Control-click the trash.
- Select all the folder and files from the trash bin.
- Drag and then drop the folders and files into the Terminal window. By doing so, a path will be created so your command that you has entered earlier is removed.
- Press enter on your keyboard.
- In order to continue the process you will have to enter your ‘Admin Password’.
- Once again press the enter key.
Thereafter, the deleting proves will commence and could take about a few minutes depending on the size of the file or folder. After this process all your unwanted folders and files will be deleted which is not possible otherwise. And always remember to be extra cautious while using Terminal as you will not be able to restore any of the deleted folders and files.