Can’t delete copied files from trash

iMacRW

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 12, 2012
74
8
Scottsdale, AZ
some time ago I made b/up files of some config files. After I was done I pulled them to trash. Now I can’t empty the trash because it says the system is using these files.

I have tried

-going into safety mode and attempting delete
-using a terminal command I found online and trying to delete

Neither worked... am I going to have to do a fresh install of OS? I hope not....

Any help appreciated.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
9,526
2,298
Delaware
Try this:
Drag those files out of the trash.
Make a new folder, then drag those "un-deletable" files to that folder.
Drag THAT folder to the trash. NOW, try to empty the trash.
 

iMacRW

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 12, 2012
74
8
Scottsdale, AZ
Try this:
Drag those files out of the trash.
Make a new folder, then drag those "un-deletable" files to that folder.
Drag THAT folder to the trash. NOW, try to empty the trash.

Didn’t work, said I didn’t have permission to move the files...
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,160
5,521
GUARANTEED way to empty that trash:

1. Boot from an EXTERNAL drive that is bootable to the finder
2. Once booted, select internal drive in finder, go to get info, and set permissions to "ignore ownership on this [the internal] volume"
3. Close get info
4. NOW try to empty the trash. I'll bet it works!
 

iMacRW

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 12, 2012
74
8
Scottsdale, AZ
GUARANTEED way to empty that trash:

1. Boot from an EXTERNAL drive that is bootable to the finder
2. Once booted, select internal drive in finder, go to get info, and set permissions to "ignore ownership on this [the internal] volume"
3. Close get info
4. NOW try to empty the trash. I'll bet it works!
This probably will work, have any onfo on the process to boot from external drive? I need a general overview if you or someone doesn’t mind....
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,160
5,521
"This probably will work, have any onfo on the process to boot from external drive? I need a general overview if you or someone doesn’t mind...."

1. You either clone a copy of your internal drive to an external drive and boot from that,
or
2. You install a copy of the OS onto an external drive and boot from that.

There's not really much more to it.
The external drive can be a hard drive, SSD, USB flashdrive (of sufficient capacity), even an SD card.

(sigh...I'm bewildered by how many Mac users there are who don't know that it's as easy to boot and run a Mac from an external drive, as it is from the internal one...!!!!)
 

Gregg2

macrumors 603
May 22, 2008
5,809
344
Milwaukee, WI
(sigh...I'm bewildered by how many Mac users there are who don't know that it's as easy to boot and run a Mac from an external drive, as it is from the internal one...!!!!)
Why? If it's something that the individual has never needed to do before, and thus has no experience with it, then it could seem like some kind of mysterious "voodoo".
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,160
5,521
Gregg wrote:
"Why? If it's something that the individual has never needed to do before, and thus has no experience with it, then it could seem like some kind of mysterious "voodoo"."

Yes, perhaps you're right.

I guess my antiquated attitude comes from having started with Macs that required "an external disk" (in this case, a FLOPPY disk) to get booted and running in the first place!
 
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Mac4Brains

macrumors regular
Oct 18, 2005
119
160
try holding down the option key as you go to the menu to give the empty trash order