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When I try to delete some items, whether from the keyboard (Command+Delete) or by dragging to the Trash on the dock, I get a message informing me that I can only permanently delete the item.

Why is that? How can I change that? (Is it a permissions issue?)

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Please run the command ls -leO@d ~ ~/.Trash and post the results -- that might help show exactly what needs fixing. –  Gordon Davisson Apr 2 '11 at 14:40
    
It reports this: drwxr-xr-x+ 37 Moshe staff - 1258 Mar 27 13:26 /Users/Moshe 0: group:everyone deny delete drwx------ 18 Moshe staff - 612 Apr 1 14:49 /Users/Moshe/.Trash –  Moshe Apr 3 '11 at 1:22
    
That looks entirely normal -- apparently it's not permissions on either your .Trash or home folder. –  Gordon Davisson Apr 3 '11 at 2:34
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3 Answers

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If you suspect it's a permissions issue (and permissions can be the cause of a great many problems in OSX), open Disk Utility (/Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility.app) and select 'Repair Permissions' from the First Aid tab. It will output permissions problems if finds and fixes.

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This worked! It found a bunch of permissions settings and fixed them. –  Moshe Apr 3 '11 at 3:41
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The Finder can't create or manage trashbins over network shares, and will tell you that.

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It does the same for files on my desktop. –  Moshe Mar 31 '11 at 17:04
    
Interesting. It might then be permissions: open a Terminal, type ls -ld ~/.Trash. It should look something like drwx------ 46 allbery staff 1564 Mar 30 23:50 .Trash/ (with your username instead of mine). –  geekosaur Mar 31 '11 at 17:14
    
So how would I fix permissions? With that command? –  Moshe Mar 31 '11 at 17:28
    
Depends on what's broken, but simple permissions issues would be sudo chown $USER ~/.Trash; sudo chmod 700 ~/.Trash. –  geekosaur Mar 31 '11 at 17:29
    
Nope, still wants to trash things permanently. –  Moshe Mar 31 '11 at 17:39
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Check out this link. It provides a number of options for you to try.

http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/trash.html

A variety of issues can result in making it difficult or impossible to either move files to, or empty, the Trash in Mac® OS X. This FAQ, derived from our book Troubleshooting Mac OS X, covers the following Trash-related topics:

[snip]

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This community appreciates a little extra bit of info or something like that to make answers more than just a link. Can you add some such tidbit here? Thanks! –  Nathan Greenstein Apr 2 '11 at 1:33
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