MacOS – Can not remove all files from Trash in OS X


I am try to empty the Trash, which takes forever. Most of the files have been removed, but I am left with several that will not delete, and I now get the following message:

The operation can’t be completed because you don’t have permission to access some of the items.

The folders and files that remain in Trash cannot be 'Put Back'. How can I remove these files from Trash?

In Terminal, I have typed in cd ~/.Trash then rm -rf ~/.Trash/* but nothing happens. How do you execute a command in Terminal? Do you hit Enter?

I am new to OS X and have never used Terminal before, so I am very wary of how best to proceed. I would appreciate any help you can give me.

I now know that if I 'Move To Trash' individual files and empty folders, the are removable from Trash. However I still need to remove the ones already there.

Best Answer

  • There's actually a number of causes of this so the solution varies. Often simply logging out and back in does the trick. If that doesn't work try repairing permissions through the menu. If that doesn't have an effect try Cmd +Option + Shift + Backspace. As a last resort you can also type this into the terminal

    sudo rm -rf /.Trash ~/.Trash
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