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I'm trying to empty the trash but it shows an alert that prompts me to Stop or Continue.

When I click Continue it terminates the process – but how do I format or empty the trash in OS X?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Try deleting it via shell. Open Applications » Utilities » Terminal.app. Now you could rm all files from the trash – although that will not securely remove them.

To do that, enter:

rm -rf ~/.Trash/*

Make sure type to this exactly as above.

If you want to delete only the file that causes problems: Type rm ~/.Trash/, then enter "The" and press Tab. The file name should be auto-completed. If you have multiple documents starting with "The", press Tab until the right file appears. It should look like this:

rm ~/.Trash/The\ Age\ Article\ -\ World Cup (rest of the filename here)

Press Enter to delete the file.

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