I emptied the trash "non-securely," and now I want to find those files and delete them permanently, in order to free space on my startup disc. I learned from Apple that they go into an "invisible" trash folder, but I can't find it.

How do I find this folder and delete it for good? I need space on my startup disc.

  • 1
    Welcome to Ask Different. It would help us if you provided additional info, such as the types of devices, OS, etc. Also let us know what you've already done to solve the problem yourself. Please see How to Ask for how to ask good questions that have a better chance at being answered. - From Review
    – fsb
    Commented Jan 1, 2017 at 23:29

1 Answer 1


Your question is actually based on a misunderstanding of how deleting files works (not a criticism - many people get confused by this because the process can be different based on OS and the type of storage device).

In a nutshell, if your only concern is that you want to free up space on your startup disk, then emptying the Trash will have already done this (regardless of how you emptied it). This is because emptying the Trash means the OS no longer has a record of the data you emptied, and this means wherever the data was stored is now free for the OS to overwrite with new data. In other words, that space is now available (free) for you to use.

A bit more detail

Your comment that you emptied the trash "non-securely" actually has no bearing on free disk space. The option to securely erase data basically means that the data is actually overwritten with random data. This makes it a lot harder to recover the original data (hence the term secure) but it's still writing data to that space. However, once complete, as with a normal empty trash the OS has no record of that space being used and therefore it is now free space.

Trash keyboard shortcuts

The following keyboard shortcuts may be of interest to you:

  • CommandDelete - moves any selected item(s) to the Trash. (If you've selected an item already in the trash it'll then put them back to their original location.)
  • ShiftCommandDelete - Empties the Trash.
  • OptionShiftCommandDelete - Empties the Trash as above, but without a confirmation dialog box.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .