How to Force Empty Trash in Mac OS X

These instructions may have changed, a new version can be found here.

One of the problems I see coming up over and over again on my Mac is the inability to empty the trash. I like to keep my trash can clean so every time I get 2 or 3 things in the trash I empty it. But, probably 3-4 times per week the trash won’t empty because one of the applications that I was using on some of the files in the trash just won’t let the file go.

So, I have to do something, because I (like the crazy person that I am) can’t stand to have stuff in my trash when I tried to get rid of it. So I resort to a simple little Terminal command to empty the trash no matter what is in it.

rm -rf ~/.Trash/*

Just copy and paste the code above into Terminal and your trash will be emptied immediately without having to see any dialog boxes at all.

5 comments

  1. No, sorry to tell you, but this command, posted hither and yon all over the Internet, simply does nothing. I even tried it with no stubborn files in the trash, just normal, old screenshot picture. I suspect some security update from Apple has negated it.

  2. I’ve seen many solutions but the fact of the matter is that they aren’t !00% for instance the Terminal thing that is suggested up above dons not fix the trash can therefore you have to do it every time witch its really annoying!
    i suggest take it to your nearest apple store or call apple and have the deal with it.

    PS. this isn’t the only problem i have had with macbook’s so much for a full-proof program with no glitches…

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