Are you tired of that overflowing trash can on your Mac, cluttering your precious storage space? It’s time to take matters into your own hands and free up valuable disk space on your Mac.
Knowing how to empty the trash on your Mac is an essential skill that can save you from a digital clutter nightmare. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll unveil the 9 best ways to empty trash on Mac and reclaim your storage.
Before We Begin
Regularly emptying the Trash on your Mac ensures your sensitive data is securely and permanently deleted. Using MacKeeper’s Safe Cleanup feature, you can remove unnecessary files and folders from your system and keep it running smoothly.
9 Best Ways to Empty Trash on Mac
When you delete files from your Mac, they are moved to the Trash folder, where they take up space on your hard drive until you empty the Trash. Follow the methods mentioned below to empty trash on Mac.
1. Delete Selected Files From the Bin
Using Bin to empty the trash on your Mac is a straightforward and reliable method. To help you through the process of emptying the trash via Bin, here are the step-by-step instructions:
- Click the Bin icon in the Dock to open it.
- Select all the items you want to delete from the Trash. You can do this by holding down the Command ⌘ key on your keyboard, clicking on each item, or selecting them all with a click-and-drag motion.
- Right-click the selected files and select Delete Immediately.
- You’ll get a prompt confirming if you want to delete the selected files. Click Delete and it will remove the selected files from your Mac.
2. Delete the Entire Bin
If you want to delete all files in the Bin in one go, you can follow these steps:
- Open the Bin from the Dock.
- When you open the Bin, you’ll see a small Empty button in the top-right corner. Click it.
- Click Empty Bin on the prompt and it will delete everything from your Trash.
3. Using a Keyboard Shortcut
Mac keyboard shortcuts are a great way to do different things while saving time. You can also use a Mac keyboard shortcut to empty trash. Here are the steps:
- Select the items you want to delete from your trash.
- Press Command ⌘ + Shift ⇧ + Delete on your keyboard.
- A pop-up window will appear, asking you to confirm that you want to delete the items in your trash. Click Empty Bin.
4. Using MacKeeper
MacKeeper is a comprehensive utility software that can optimize your Mac’s performance, including emptying the Trash. Here are the steps to empty Trash on Mac Using MacKeeper:
- Download and install MacKeeper on your Mac.
- Launch the app and open Safe Cleanup from MacKeeper’s Cleaning section.
- Click Start Scan.
- Select the files you want to remove or click Check All. Here, make sure you select the Trash option.
- Click Clean Junk Files.
- This will remove the selected junk files from your Mac, including the Trash items. You can click Rescan to repeat the process.
5. Using Terminal
The Terminal is a powerful tool that you can use to empty Trash on Mac. Here are the steps to empty the Trash on your Mac using Terminal:
- Open the Terminal app via Finder > Applications > Utilities > Terminal.
- Type the following command and press Enter:
sudo rm -rf ~/.Trash/*
- Type your password when prompted and press Enter.
- It will delete all items from your Bin.
6. Force Empty Trash
If you’re unable to empty the trash on your Mac using the regular method, you can force empty the trash using the following steps:
You will not get a confirmation pop-up in this method, so only try it if you’re 100% sure about deleting the Trash completely.
- Right-click the Bin icon in the Dock.
- Hold down the Option ⌥ key on your keyboard.
- While holding the Option ⌥ key, click Empty Bin in the context menu and it will empty the Bin instantly.
7. Secure Empty Trash
Secure Empty Trash is a feature that overwrites the deleted files with random data multiple times before permanently removing them from your hard drive. This process ensures that the deleted files cannot be recovered.
Here’s how to use Secure Empty Trash:
- Right-click the Bin icon in the Dock.
- Hold down the Command ⌘ key on your keyboard.
- While holding the Command ⌘ key, click Empty Bin in the context menu.
- A pop-up window will appear, asking you to confirm that you want to delete the items in your trash permanently. Click Empty Bin.
- This method will overwrite the deleted files with random data, making them harder to recover.
8. Using Disk Utility
Disk Utility can help empty Trash on Mac by allowing you to erase the free space on your hard drive. Here’s how to do it:
- Open Disk Utility on your Mac via Finder > Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.
- Select your startup disk from the list on the left-hand side.
- Click the First Aid button in the toolbar.
- Click Run to start the verification process.
- Once the process is complete, click Verify Disk Permissions.
- Click Repair Disk Permissions to fix any issues.
- Try emptying the Bin again.
9. Using Time Machine
Always be careful when deleting files/folders from Time Machine backups, as this action is permanent and cannot be undone. Ensure you have a backup of the files/folders you want to keep before proceeding.
To empty the Trash on a Mac using Time Machine, follow these steps:
- Connect your external hard drive with Time Machine backups to your Mac.
- Open the Time Machine app on your Mac.
- Navigate to the date and time you want to delete the Trash files permanently.
- Select the files or folders you want to delete from the Trash and select them.
- Click the gear icon in the Time Machine window and select Delete All Backups of [file/folder name]. It permanently deletes selected files/folders from all Time Machine backups.
- Confirm that you want to delete the files/folders by clicking Delete.
- Wait for the deletion process to complete, which may take some time, depending on the amount of data being deleted.
- Once the process is complete, you can safely empty the Trash on your Mac without worrying about those files/folders reappearing in future Time Machine backups.
Get Rid of Trash on Your Mac
Emptying the Trash on your Mac is an essential step in maintaining your system’s performance and storage capacity. Here are some more tips for the future:
- Get into the habit of regularly clearing the cache on your Mac to ensure unnecessary files and folders do not take up valuable disk space.
- Regularly clear temp files on your Mac to prevent them from accumulating and slowing down your system.
- Uninstall unnecessary apps on your Mac to free up valuable disk space.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I recover items deleted from the Trash on Mac?
Yes, you can recover items deleted from the Trash on your Mac, depending on certain conditions. When you empty the Trash, the files are usually considered permanently deleted. However, if you act quickly, there are still options available to restore those files.
Why won’t my Trash empty on Mac?
Your trash won’t empty on Mac if the files are in use by another app, the trash is corrupted, the files are locked, or the trash contains large files that take a long time to delete.
How can I prevent my Trash from filling up on my Mac?
To prevent your trash from filling up on your Mac, regularly delete files you no longer need. Always Back up your data and use MacKeeper to clean up your Mac of unnecessary files, apps, and software.