How to Force Empty Trash on Mac.
If you are having trouble deleting all the files in the Trash on your Mac, then you need to forcefully empty the Trash for those Mac files. This will force the deletion of files and leave an empty Trash on your Mac.
There are various factors that prevent your Trash from emptying on Mac. Perhaps your files are locked and this is preventing you from doing what you are doing. Or maybe there are other problems with files in the recycle bin that is preventing the entire task of emptying the recycle bin from completing.
However, there are several ways you can work around the problem on your computer. You can start with the simplest things and then work your way up to more complex ones until you find the method that works for you.
Quit the application that was using the file
One of the reasons you can’t empty the Trash on Mac is because one of the files in it is being used by an application on your computer. You need to first close the application that is using the file, after which you can empty the trash.
- From any screen, press Command + Option + Esc. label.
- A window will appear listing the currently open applications on your Mac. Click the file that you think your trash file is using, and then click the Force Quit button.
After closing the app, you can empty the trash.
Restart to force empty the Trash on Mac
One of the simple solutions you can try to solve is to restart your Mac. The reason you are asked to do this is because when you restart your computer, all applications are closed and the contents of the RAM are cleared.
If any of these items were preventing you from emptying the Trash, restarting your Mac should fix the problem for you. Plus, it’s quick and easy to do and won’t harm your computer.
- Click the Apple logo in the upper left corner and select Restart.
- After your Mac restarts, right-click the Trash and select Empty Trash.
Force Emptying Trash on Mac using Safe Mode
If you are still unable to empty the Trash on Mac OS X, the application you are running may not be able to empty the Trash. The app launches on every restart, so restarting your Mac doesn’t fix the problem either.
In this case, it’s best to use Mac Safe Mode. It will only download the files it needs to download.
- Restart your Mac and hold the Shift key while booting.
- Empty the trash as usual.
Unlock files before emptying Trash
Some locked files can cause problems with the Force Trash emptying procedure on your Mac. Since these files are locked, they must first be unlocked before you can delete them when emptying the trash.
Locking and unlocking files on Mac is quite simple and you can do it as follows.
- Right-click the locked file and select Get Info.
- Uncheck the “Locked” box and the file will be unlocked.
- Empty the trash as usual and everything should work fine.
Delete the problematic files individually in the trash
One or more files may cause your recycle bin to not empty. In this case, you can find the files that you think are causing the problem and delete them separately first.
Once this is done, you can empty the entire Trash at once.
- Click the trash can icon to open it.
- Find the file that you think is problematic, right-click it and select Delete Immediately.
- Do this until the problem is resolved.
Force Emptying Trash on Mac using Terminal
Where the graphical user interface often crashes, Terminal works and does its job for you. You can also use this command line application to empty the trash can. This tool has a command that cleans up all the files that are currently in the recycle bin on your Mac.
- Launch a terminal from the launcher on your Mac.
- Type the following command and press Enter.
sudo rm -rf ~ / .Trash
- Since this is a sudo command, you will be prompted for a password. Do this and continue.
When the command is completed, your cart will be empty.
Safely empty Trash on Mac
When it comes to emptying the Trash on Mac, you have two ways to do it. Apart from the usual right-click and blank option, you have another option that appears when you open the Trash on your Mac.
You can use the option to safely delete all files in the recycle bin. This should fix the issue that is preventing you from emptying the trash.
- Open the Trash on your Mac.
- Click the Finder menu at the top and select Safely Empty Trash.
Use a third-party app to force empty the Trash on Mac
In most cases, the default methods should solve the problem for you, and you shouldn’t have any problems emptying the trash can. However, if you were unable to get any of these methods to work, you can look into third-party apps to see if anything is available.
There is actually a free app called Trash It! which allows you to empty the trash on your Mac with one click. It can also be used to delete individual files from your Mac if you don’t want to empty the trash right away.
- Download Trash It! on Mac.
- Open the app and your cart will empty.