I have a lot of useless files on my hardrive and I need to clear some of them out: some of said files will go into the trash with no problem, Some of them let me put them in the trash, but dont actually ever leave my harddrive, and last but not least there are the stubborn ones that won't even give me the option of putting them in the trash. Why is this happening? How can I fix it? What can I do to prevent this from happening again?


Their probably not being moved because you don't have the permission or they're currently in use. The sure fire way to delete files like this is by:

  1. Open Terminal from /Applications/Utilities
  2. Type sudo rm [file path]

You can even drag and drop files into terminal to have all their paths listed, so you can delete them all in one shot. Be sure you have a good backup since if you delete something that is needed, you won't get asked twice before the system deletes it. There is no trash can or undo with sudo rm

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One question about the "useless" files you want to delete: are they system files or are they files you created? If they are locked or you do not have the premission to delete them, I see two reasons for that:

  1. The files belongs to the system and you should not delete them!!!
  2. The files permissions are broken, you should repare them with a tool like Onyx (there are other tools to do it)

Once you checked that, and repair the permissions, try again. If the trash still do not empty, try to empty it while pressing the "option" key on the keyboard ("alt" key). This will force to empty the trash.

And another hint, the files you want to delete might be locked. To unlock a file, select it (outside of the trash) and look for the file's information (press "command-i"). There is a box to check to lock-unlock the file on the bottome of the window.

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