Quickly Empty Trash on MacOS

On July 20, 2010, in Mac, by Anuj Gakhar

So, I often end up in situations where there is just too much data in my Trash and emptying Trash on a Mac can take ages. The annoying bit is – while Trash is being emptied – you can not delete anything else meanwhile. I ran into a situation today where I needed 40GB space on my disk and the only way to do so was to empty trash which had about the same size of stuff in it. Deleting via the Finder window can take ages as it counts the files and deletes them, it almost seems like an endless process.

Apparently, you can do so via the Terminal window


cd ~/.Trash
rm -rf *

That command recursively and silently deletes everything in Trash within minutes.

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2 Responses to Quickly Empty Trash on MacOS

  1. Jim says:

    I’m worried that people could type the first line incorrectly and then end up deleting the wrong directory… I’d recommend a one-step process like the one below which makes the delete command much less prone to accidents..

    rm -rf ~/.Trash/*

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