OSX Force empty Trash [terminal rm -R does the trick]

Could not empty trash on my Mac OSX 10.6.8 Snow Leopard. Kept getting the error:

 The operation can’t be completed because an unexpected error occurred (error code -8003).

No matter which keys I hit while empty trash (shift, ctl, option, cmd).

This MacWorld article contained the clue that helped me.

DIY Terminal tricks

However, all those utilities merely send OS X commands that you can issue yourself in Terminal. To do so, first open Terminal (in /Applications/Utilities). Typecd ~/.Trash and press Return. Then, type sudo rm -R followed by a space (don’t leave out the space character—it’s essential). Don’t press Return yet.

Next, click the Trash icon in your Dock to open a window displaying the contents of the Trash. Select everything in that window and drag it into the Terminal window; this action adds the paths of all those files and folders to the rm(remove) command. Now, press Return and enter your administrator password when prompted. In a moment or two (depending on how much was in your Trash), the Trash icon should return to its empty state.

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Fang – Mike Seyfang


About mseyfang

Interruptus Digitalis
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1 Response to OSX Force empty Trash [terminal rm -R does the trick]

  1. abujojo says:

    yes!!!!!!!!! A mac forum that actually helped…..oh my gosh it worked!!!!!!! Using Mac since AppleIIe

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