4 Ways to Empty trash on Mac to Permanently delete files

Want to Force empty trash on Mac to permanently delete files and to save some storage space? This article is all about Methods to empty trash on Mac is explained in detail in the simple steps.

First, we will come to know how the files will move to the Trash.
There are a few ways to delete a file on a Mac and how those will be moved to Trash on Mac.

How to delete files on Mac Or How to send files to Trash on Mac

1.You can drag and drop any files on to the trash icon in the dock.
You can right-click on any file and choose the option “Move to Trash” from the options.

2.You can click on the file and press the command “Command + Delete” to move it into the Trash icon in the dock.

However, these methods won’t actually delete anything from your Mac machine, the files will just remain in your Trash until you delete them for good. This is actually a good way to say to make sure that you don’t accidentally delete or remove something you need. But if you actually want to recover some storage space to boost your Mac, then definitely you will need to know how to delete files from your Trash.

When you put a file or move the file into the Mac’s trashcan, it is not said as deleted. But it’s just one easy step away from deletion and below methods will help you to know how to empty the trash.

Hint: If you don’t mind about spending little amount to boost your Mac speed automatically by removing trash and all other cached files, then we suggest you use MacPaw Cleanmymac. Don’t want to spend money then continue reading for the manual methods.

Methods to empty trash on Mac

Below are the methods that will explain to you in detail how to empty trash on the Mac machine.

Method-1: How to empty trash folder on Mac from Trash icon in the dock

Deleting files from the Trash on a Mac machine is not usually that much hard. Just follow these steps to make it.

  • All the items like files, images, folders deleted from your Mac will move to the Trash.
  • Now you can click on the Trash icon in the Dock and choose the option “Empty Trash”.
  • Otherwise, you can also empty the trash by pressing three keyboard keys consecutively as “Command + Shift + Delete”.
  • Then You should see a warning with a dialog box “Are you sure you want to permanently erase the items in the Trash” because you cannot undo this action again,
  • You should think and make a decision here because the files or items deleted or removed from Trash cannot be recovered and even can’t undo also.
  • You can actually bypass the warning message “Are you sure you want to permanently erase the items in the Trash?” step, by pressing the keys consecutively as “Command + Option/Alt + Shift + Delete”.

Method-2: How to securely empty the trash on your Mac to Permanently delete the files

Making the trash empty is usually sufficient to get rid of the files that you don’t want anymore.

But emptying the trash does not really destroy the files, they remain on the hard drive. As a result, some deleted files can be recovered using disk recovery software like Wondershare Recoverit.

Sometimes it is required for you to delete files that are particularly sensitive: Financial records, for example, intimate photos, or other data you absolutely don’t want anyone to get their hands on, under any circumstances.

Secure Empty Trash takes a longer time but provides a more secure form of file deletion. Use at your own discretion as you wish.

  • Firstly, click and hold on the Trashcan icon in the Dock.
  • Hold down the command key and click on the Trash.
  • “Empty Trash” will now change to the “Secure Empty Trash” text in the options list.
  • Select the option “Secure Empty Trash” now.
  • You can even do it from any open Finder window.
  • Click on the Finder menu, and select “Secure Empty Trash” option to empty files in Trash more securely.

Method-3: How to force empty Trash Bin on Mac Using Terminal

  • Open the Terminal on your Mac.
  • Now type this command followed by a space and please DO NOT PRESS ENTER AFTERWARD. “Sudo rm –R ”
  • Please note that the command will not work suppose if you don’t add space after R.
  • Now make a Control-click Trash from the Dock.
  • Select all the files in the Trash Bin present.
  • You should now Drag and Drop the files into the Terminal window.
  • This will create the path to each file to remove the command which you entered earlier above.
  • Now press Enter button.
  • Enter your Admin password if it is asked you to enter and continue the process.
  • The password you enter will not be visible anymore. It appears as if nothing has changed.
  • Now press Enter button again.

The deleting process will start now after all the above steps and it will take couple of minutes or more depending on the files size that you are making empty.

Method-4: How to empty trash using Finder

Use this tip if you would like to make sure that your Mac always securely deletes the files every time when you empty the Trash.

  • Open the Finder.
  • Now you can click on the Finder menu from the top.
  • You can choose “Empty Trash” from the options list. This will delete the items from Trash.
  • Select the “Preferences” option.
  • Check the “Empty Trash Securely” option to empty trash securely.
  • You can even have the best feature to select in Advanced Settings from the Preferences window.
  • You can choose the option by check/uncheck the checkbox “Show warning before emptying the Trash”.
  • You can choose the option by check/uncheck the checkbox “Remove items from the Trash after 30 days”. This will automatically empty the trash after 30 days without manually emptying.


Now you have your methods to make the Trash emptied of the stubborn files and folders which wouldn’t have deleted just like that. And remember files deleted using Terminal will not be restored at any cost and be extra cautious while selecting the files from Trash.

We suggest you use MacPaw Cleanmymac to automatically clean your Trash and all other cache files to boost Mac performance.

I hope you like my tutorial about Methods to empty Trash on Mac. If you Like it!! then please Share it. If you want to add anything to it, please let us know through the comments section.

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