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Ashik, Mac Technician
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 11825
Experience:  Bachelor of Computer Application (BCA), 9+ Years of Experience in troubleshooting Macs, iPhone, iPad, iPod etc
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I am trying to empty Trash. It prepares to do so and when I

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I am trying to empty Trash. It prepares to do so and when I select delete all it seems to start and then quits. Any suggestions? It's an iMac, about four years old running Yosemite
Hi and Welcome. My Name is ***** ***** I look forward to assisting you today with your question.

You are doing it correctly. It seems like there are some permission related issues with the file in Trash. That is why it is not emptying. Try this. Hold down Options key on your keyboard, right click (control + click) on the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.

If that didn't work, then you can use this application, Trash It. Trash It will force your Mac to trash the files even it is being used by other Applications or locked or have any other problem.

Download Trash It from here :!

Open Trash It and empty trash with it. Please let me know if that didn't work, so we can continue troubleshooting.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

On a Mac keyboard, which is the Options key. Is it the one that says 'ctrl' or the one that says 'alt'.

It is the alt key. If that didn't work, then try Trash It application. If it still not working, then restart your Mac and try Trash It application.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Trash appears to be emptying now but it's slow because of the number of items! I will rate your service and finish when it is complete.
I'm glad it is working. Let it complete...Let me know how it goes.
Hi Alan, I'm just checking. Were you able to empty the trash ?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I responded to say that it still says Emptying the Trash but the Items to Delete is now negative and currently shows -176,878 items! Is this normal? What should I do?

It is not normal. Did you trash any files from external hard drive or flash drives ? If so, cancel the process. Then open Terminal from Applications > Utilities folder and type sudo rm -rf ~/.Trash

Press return key on your keyboard. That wil kill old trash and make new one. Did that work ?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Don't know where to find one of the characters: the one before the slash. Did not expect this to be sop difficult to solve!

That is tilde. Press the key left to 1. Or just copy and paste the command from here to terminal and press return.

Sometimes it will take much time and effort to solve a simple issue. Your Trash database is corrupted, that is why it is not working properly.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I had already tried copying and pasting. Did it again and this is what I got:

mac:~ alanalexander$ sudo rm -rf ~/.Trash

WARNING: Improper use of the sudo command could lead to data loss

or the deletion of important system files. Please double-check your

typing when using sudo. Type "man sudo" for more information.

To proceed, enter your password, or type Ctrl-C to abort.

Entered my Apple ID and it was not recognised. Which password. I tried the one I use for software updates and that was not recognised: command not found.

Can't do Ctrl-C; have also tried cmd-C. Both return this response:

mac:~ alanalexander$

Enter your mac's user password ***** the password ***** update softwares.

You will not see the password ***** the screen when you enter it. Just type it and press return.

Make sure you don't out any space after the command, i.e after the .Trash.

Try the command one more time. If it still not working, then try this command : sudo rm -ri ~/.Trash
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Tried new command, entered password, got this:

examine files in directory /Users/alanalexander/.Trash?

Press y and press return. Let me know it goes.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Pressed y and return sequentially, then simultaneously on terminal and not and got nothing but:
-bash: y: command not found
mac:~ alanalexander$
OK, now enter this command and press return : sudo rm -rfv ~/.Trash

This will force delete all files and trash database. Then enter this command and press return : mkdir -v ~/.Trash

After that logout from Apple menu and login in again. Did that work ?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Won't let me log out because Finder has operations in progress. Should I force quit?

Wait 5-10 minutes to let it complete if there any background process going on , then force quit and logout.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Forced quit, trash now empty! Will this happen when I next try to empty trash?

No, since we deleted the old trash database and created new one. If it happens again, you can run the above commands to fix Trash. It is a rare problem and won't happen frequently.

If you have any questions or would like any additional information, please don't hesitate to ask.
Ashik and other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Have retained the instructions! Thank you for your help. Will now finish and rate you GOOD!

Thank You and Have a great day !