How to Force Empty Trash on Mac: 100% Working Solutions

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

May 16, 2024 • Filed to: Solve Mac Problems • Proven solutions

"My Mac is getting extremely slow and I don't know how to get rid of its trash. Can someone please tell me how to force empty trash on Mac?"

If a similar query has brought you here, then consider this your lucky day! A lot of Mac users find it hard to manage their Trash folder. No matter how many times they try to empty it, there is always some or other leftover content in it. Since Mac automatically manages the Trash folder, you might need to take some extra measures to force delete trash. This will let you have more free space on your Mac or get rid of your sensitive content. In this post, we will make you familiar with 6 different ways on how to force delete trash on Mac. Additionally, we have also listed more information about this problem


Reasons You Need to Force Empty Trash on Mac

Before uncovering ways to do macOS force empty trash, it is important to know the reasons. The following are some of the major triggers for taking this action.

How to Empty Trash on Mac?

No matter what the reason is, you can easily learn how to force delete trash on Mac by following the right approach. Here are some easy solutions to force delete trash that you can try.

Method 1: Use Mac's Terminal

While it might seem a bit complicated, using Terminal is the best practice to take complete control over your Mac. For instance, by entering the right commands, you can do almost anything on a Mac – and forcefully emptying its trash is no such exception. Here's how you can learn how to force empty trash on Macbook Pro and other Mac versions.

Method 2: Using the Trash App Utilities

There are tons of third-party apps out there as well that can help you force empty trash on Mac Yosemite, Sierra, High Sierra, and other macOS versions. Though, before you download any file shredder app, just make sure it works for your macOS version. There are freely available as well as paid apps to force delete trash and manage your Mac storage. Some of these common apps are Trash it, Stellar Wipe Mac, MacClean, Mac Optimizer, Cocktail, CleanMyMac, and so on. From these options, let's learn how to force empty trash on Mac using CleanMyMac.

Method 3: Restart and Try Again

There are times when even after deleting data from the Trash folder, it isn't removed. If you have followed the right approach, then consider restarting your Mac. If the application is running in the background, then a restart would get rid of the temporary files in the process. Therefore, it will also force empty trash on Mac as well.

Method 4: Empty the Trash folder in "Safe Mode"

Sometimes, when we restart Mac in the normal mode, the Trash folder stays intact. To overcome this problem, you can consider restarting your Mac in the Safe Mode instead. Later, you can empty the trash when your Mac is in the Safe Mode. Here's how do you force empty trash on Mac via Safe mode.

What if your Mac can't be restarted? Get the fixes here: 10 Solutions to Mac Won't Turn on.
- 2 minutes to read it.

Method 5: Use the Option Key to Force Empty Mac Trash

This is an old trick for previous Mac versions that you might consider trying. Mostly, it will only work if your Mac is older than the 2015 version. Since the Option key lets us access certain key features of an application, it can also help us force delete trash on Mac as well.

Method 6: Disable System Integrity Protection

The System Integrity Protection (SIP) is a native Mac feature that was introduced in macOS 10.13 and exits in every later version. It protects third-party apps to access certain features on Mac. Therefore, if you are using a third-party tool to do Mac force empty trash in use, then you need to disable SIP on Mac first. Here's how you can turn off the System Integrity Protection feature on Mac.

More Related: How to Recover Emptied Trash on Mac

How to Recover Data from Emptied Trash?

Sometimes, users end up deleting data from the Trash bin accidentally as well. If you have also done the same, then consider using Recoverit Data Recovery Mac. It runs on every leading macOS version and will let you restore your lost, deleted, or inaccessible content in all scenarios. Even if you have formatted a drive or have emptied the Trash, the advanced tool will extract your data. It features different scanning modes and will let you preview your data before restoring it.

Video Tutorial on How to Recover Deleted Files on Mac Even Emptied Trash

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To use Recoverit Data Recovery for Mac, follow these simple steps:

Step1: Select the location:

Firstly, launch the Recoverit Data Recovery application and choose where you wish to perform the data recovery operation. Just make sure the System Integrity Protection feature is disabled beforehand.


Step2: Scan selected location:

As the application would scan the selected location, wait for a while for it to extract the deleted content.


Step3: Preview and Recover the Files:

After completing the process, the application will display the results on the interface. You can preview your photos, videos, etc. here and select the files you wish to save. Click on the "Recover" button in the end and get them back to a safe place.



That's a wrap, everyone! I'm sure that the guide would have helped you force empty trash on Mac by following these proven techniques. Apart from that, if you have accidentally deleted data from the Trash bin, then consider using Recoverit Data Recovery. An exceptional data recovery tool for Mac, it will let you get back your lost files under different circumstances and from various sources.

Recoverit author

Sue Wayne

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