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Another method to empty trash that refuses to empty Desktop
Occasionally, I would find several items left in my trash that would not empty. Even delete commands with tools like Onyx did nothing. I then found the cure: grab all the items in the trash, and drag them to the Desktop. Then return the icons to the trash, and empty the trash. The files are gone!

[robg adds: Over the years, this has probably been one of the more popular topics to discuss -- it seems there are many possible solutions. Even Apple has jumped into the discussion with their You can't empty the Trash or move a file to the Trash in Mac OS X Knowledge Base document. Suffice it to say, there should be something amongst these tips that works for your specific situation...]
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Another method to empty trash that refuses to empty | 9 comments | Create New Account
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Another method to empty trash that refuses to empty
Authored by: InkFreq on Dec 15, '05 07:35:57AM

Another easy way that never seems to fail is to do this from the command line.

Open terminal and use:

cd .Trash
sudo rm -r *



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Another method to empty trash that refuses to empty
Authored by: hamarkus on Dec 15, '05 08:21:25AM

What is the star for?



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Another method to empty trash that refuses to empty
Authored by: GlowingApple on Dec 15, '05 09:11:37AM

The '*' is a wild card character meaning everything. When you run the above command in the shell the shell (sh, bash, csh, ksh, zsh, etc) replaces the wildcard with a list of all matching files in the current working directory. In the case of the '*', all files are matched, so this command deletes everything in the trash.

---
Jayson --When Microsoft asks you, "Where do you want to go today?" tell them "Apple."



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Another way is better for me...
Authored by: robertcoogan on Dec 15, '05 12:26:47PM

I use <a href="http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/10045">CanMan</a>. It force-empties the trash, and works great. No messing with the terminal, just click and watch the trash go away.



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Another way is better for me...
Authored by: bopfan on Jan 21, '06 10:57:58AM

Unfortunately the CanMan site seems to be down or dead. Link to macupdate is fine but CanMan can't be found. Bummer.


I use <ahref="http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/10045">CanMan</a>. It force-empties the trash, and works great. No messing with the terminal, just click and watch the trash go away.



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Another method to empty trash that refuses to empty
Authored by: hamarkus on Dec 15, '05 09:18:40AM

Stupid me, I should have realised that. I thought there is some option for rm akin to kill -9.



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Another method to empty trash that refuses to empty
Authored by: Bakari on Dec 15, '05 09:21:50AM

I found using secure delete also gets rid of files that won't go with regular trash emptying.



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Another method to empty trash that refuses to empty
Authored by: bjj on Dec 15, '05 09:23:12AM

Something that seems to almost always work (for some strange reason) is just to use "Secure empty trash" rather than the regular "Empty trash".

I don't know why this should be - mayve they just forgot to code the check into the secure version....



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Another method to empty trash that refuses to empty
Authored by: jacobolus on Feb 14, '06 07:49:15PM

That knowledge base article is very complete. Thanks, Rob!



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