MacOS – Can’t delete files in trash because they don’t exist on OS X 10.6


Something funky happened on one of my external drives and now whenever I plug it in 2 files show up in my Trash. If I empty the Trash via Finder, nothing happens. Ditto for the Option+Empty Trash method.

Listing them via Terminal shows them as there

$ sudo ls .Trashes/501
¶_|íìê<-.b?†            æâù©ìë—‡.*?§

But attempting to rm them or get any information about them shows them as not there

$ sudo ls -F .Trashes/501/
ls: ¶_|íìê<-.b\032†: No such file or directory
ls: æâù©ìë—‡.*\026§: No such file or directory

$ sudo rm .Trashes/501/*
rm: .Trashes/501/¶_|íìê<-.b\032†: No such file or directory
rm: .Trashes/501/æâù©ìë—‡.*\026§: No such file or directory

Any thoughts? I've never seen anything like this.

Thanks in advance!

Best Answer


sudo rm -rf .Trashes

The directory will be recreated on the external by OS X as needed.


Plug the drive into something with a different OS and zap it there.

If both of these fail, time to start checking filesystems and drive sectors...