I cannot seem to empty the Trash in OS X. I can open the Trash folder and view the items, but somehow cannot empty (or even secure empty) trash. Is there any way out?

The following dialog seems to run forever. I tried restarting, but it doesn't help.

Image of the "Emptying the Trash…" window with an empty progress bar and 70 items to delete.

4 Answers 4


Try using Disk Utility to do a "Repair Disk" to eliminate volume data structure corruption as a possible source of the problem.


See if there's an app using a file in .Trash using lsof

$ lsof | grep Trash

Close open files and/or quit the apps holding open files in .Trash.


Try Terminal command rm -Rf ~/.Trash/*

  • If this doesn't work, run it with sudo.
    – user3463
    Mar 28, 2012 at 17:47

This Trash It app has worked every time for me. It's really quite brilliant and super simple to use.

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