I have a question about Mac's Empty Trash (Control-click on Trash on doc). First, I make sure the trash is empty. Then I copy or duplicate a pdf file in Finder(Control-C and then Control-V). Then I delete the copied file by pressing Command+delete key. Finally I empty my trash. During the empty progress, in the progress bar, I saw that there was saying "4 items to delete", then count down to 3, 2, 1 and gone. I only deleted one file. Where were the other 3 items come from?

Then I repeated this again and mode notes about my used space (command in Terminal: df -lk):

 ...4,416  -- first my trash was empty
 ...8,112  -- after I copied a pdf file in Finder (size: 3,692k)
 ...8,112  -- after I deleted the copied pdf file in Finder (no difference)
 ...4,420  -- after I empty my trash.

Actually, I lose 4k space. Not sure how this can be explained? Is there any background cleaning jobs(removing any hidden and unused or unmounted files/packages) while the Trash is emptied?

  • Thanks for @Doug's correction. I edited the question to make it correct. – David.Chu.ca Sep 29 '09 at 4:02

The Trash is stored in ~/.Trash, so I would open Terminal and execute ls -a to see what's in there after putting the PDF file in the trash.

In you question about the used space, if that really was the "Used" column from the df output, then you lost 4k of space. You used xxx4,416 before and used 4,416 + 4 = 4,420 afterwards.

The discrepancy could come from changes anywhere on the disk -- /var/log comes immediately to mind. A better utility to compare the used space in just the Trash would be du -sk ~/.Trash.

  • You are right on the Used number. However, I tried to copy, delete, check again. I saw only one file there in ~/.Trash/ but the progress bar indicated 6 items to delete. – David.Chu.ca Sep 29 '09 at 3:55

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