We all like to regularly clean up our Mac. One fine day, we just start to remove everything we see, delete unnecessary applications, movies, images, photographs, and send all the files from the desktop to Trash, until it’s full, or your Mac begins to display error messages and tips on moving files to Trash.
The most common problem is that Trash emptying runs very slow, and constant messages pop up warning us that an application cannot be deleted, etc. Chances are you don’t know Macs can have more than one Trash bin, there may be several, it all depends on the applications installed on your Mac, and that can be an additional headache.
We’ll start from the beginning.
Let’s see what kinds of Trash emptying there are, and how to quickly remove the trash that you have accumulated.
Each operating system has two Trash emptying options:
What’s the difference?
What is quick Trash emptying?
Quick Trash emptying is performed almost instantly. The point is that the files in Trash do not get physically deleted, they are simply marked “deleted”, so, in theory, new files may be written over them. Consequently, these marked files are deleted only after they are overwritten with other files.
Here is the upside! As long as the file marked as deleted hasn’t been overwritten, it is possible to restore it with the help of special applications.
On the one hand, it is good that recovering lost files is possible, but that brings up the downside right away! Your privacy can be compromised, if there is open access to your Mac.
What is irreversible Trash emptying?
In fact, the principle of irreversible Trash emptying is identical to the quick one. The only difference is that on top of the deleted files your Mac writes empty data blocks, which makes recovery of deleted files impossible.
The downside is that this process can take a very, very long time, because all the deleted files need to be overwritten with empty files.
This action is a default option on Mac, but you can always change it to quick Trash emptying. This can be done as follows:
- Open Finder
- In the menu bar (top left corner) click on Finder again
- In the drop-down menu, select Preferences
- In the window that opens, select Advanced
- Then you need to check or uncheck Empty Trash securely
From then on your Trash will be emptied in the way that you chose.
If there is a time when you need to empty Trash in a different way, just right-click on the Trash icon in Dock, and select the alternate option for Trash emptying.
Now let’s see how the same things can be done for those who like shortcuts!
Emptying Trash with hot keys
Hot keys or shortcuts can greatly simplify and speed up the user’s experience on Mac, but, as you know, not everyone chooses to use them. Perhaps, after you learn how to empty Trash with their help, you will see how handy it is and start using this method in the future. In any case, it won’t hurt to learn.
Shortcut Command + Delete deletes and sends the selected files to Trash. Deleting some of the files could affect applications’ performance. You will find out about it when you delete them.
Of course, you can recover the deleted files. Do this by using the same key combination Command + Delete, after going to Trash and selecting the files you want restored.
You can empty Trash by pressing the combination Shift + Command + Delete. The system will display warning that by agreeing to remove the deleted files from Trash (Empty Trash), you won’t be able to restore files, but it isn’t always the case.
There is another way to empty Trash by using hot keys: quick emptying. By pressing Shift + Option + Command + Delete you will immediately remove all the contents of Trash and remove all Trash from your Mac. But remember, it will be emptied without confirmation, so be careful when using this shortcut.
Let me tell you about another way of emptying Trash that is more practical.
Emptying Trash with CleanMyMac 3
Let’s start with the upside. At the beginning of this article, we talked about several Trash bins, remember? So, finding them can be a lot of work and take a long time. CleanMyMac 3 can empty all the existing Trash bins on your Mac without you knowing about it.
CleanMyMac 3 won’t be stopped by any errors that may appear when emptying Trash, all the trash will be removed in a moment.
Let’s see how this wonder app works!
Start by doing this:
- Download the application here: http://macpaw.com/cleanmymac
- Install it on Mac
- Run the app
- Find the tab Trash Bins
- 5. Click Scan
The scanning of the system will commence.
Afterwards, the scan’s results are displayed. I try to keep my Mac in order, so there is not much Trash here.
- CleanMyMac 3 prompts you to check the files that it found before deleting, in case you see some important information and decide against removing one or more of the selected files.
Of course, you will be the one who chooses to remove or keep the data. It’s very easy to do, just check or uncheck the box next to the file’s name.
- Click Empty
Next, all your Trash bins will be emptied, including software bins and bins on other disks.
I think you will agree with me that this method is much more convenient and reliable than those listed above.
June 3, 2016 by Mark Walker