Empty the trash PARTLY

duskdawn

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 2, 2007
20
0
Hi,
I know it sounds too "windows" but is there a way to just select some files in trash and permanently delete them WITHOUT emptying the whole trash. Some files in trash are still needed for the sake of backup but some have to go to free the disk.
Thanks.
 

Luigi239

macrumors 6502a
Jan 25, 2007
529
0
Well, firstly you should only keep things in the trash that you want to delete forever. Anything you put in there should be under the assumption that it can be deleted immediately. If you really need to, make a folder in your home directory to put those files that you need for backup, or even better put them on a CD or external Hdd. Backup files on the drive won't help if the entire drive dies.

To answer your question though, you would need to do that from the terminal, and type in these commands.

cd ./Trash
rm filename (for a single document)
rmdir directory name (deletes a directory...only works if nothing is in it.)
rm -r directory name (deletes the directory and everything inside of it.)

Remember, file and folder names are case sensitive in the terminal.
 

yetanotherdave

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2007
1,767
3
Bristol, England
a slightly easier way to do it is to open the terminal, type rm then drag the file from the trash to the terminal window.

Putting a file in the trash doesn't free up any disk space, the file is still on the disk until you empty the trash.
 

Cromulent

macrumors 603
Oct 2, 2006
6,034
35
The Land of Hope and Glory
Wow I have never heard of anyone using the Trash as a means of backup before.

Do you file your paperwork at home in the same way? I may need to keep this so I'll put it in the bin. Seriously buy some CD-Rs or DVD-Rs and use a proper backup solution.
 

Roy Hobbs

macrumors 68000
Apr 29, 2005
1,805
101
Hi,
I know it sounds too "windows" but is there a way to just select some files in trash and permanently delete them WITHOUT emptying the whole trash. Some files in trash are still needed for the sake of backup but some have to go to free the disk.
Thanks.
That seems very foolish, who would you put items you need for "backup" in the trash. If its trash, put it in the trash. If the files you want to keep don't put them in the trash. It's quite simple.
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
13,951
3
Gone but not forgotten.
Wow I have never heard of anyone using the Trash as a means of backup before.

Do you file your paperwork at home in the same way? I may need to keep this so I'll put it in the bin. Seriously buy some CD-Rs or DVD-Rs and use a proper backup solution.
I agree with buying some discs to be a true backup but I've heard of a similar situation.

The place where I was working in 1999 was having trouble sending any new e-mails so we went round the place and found that the owner had been putting things in the trash as "storage". Actually, he had more in the trash than in his active e-mails. I thought to accidentally empty Outlook's trash and fix things on the server but he'd just want it restored.
 

duskdawn

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 2, 2007
20
0
Thanks for the replies guys, but when I said "backup" I mean "in case I want to recover them".
Let's say you deleted some files and later you think you should keep (recover) them but you can never do that if you want to permanently delete some other files between these 2 timepoints, except the absurd method some friends indicated above.
I DO buy CDs to backup my files but these were not what I meant in this thread, aren't they?
 

martyaa

macrumors newbie
Jul 2, 2008
2
0
Nothing wrong with emptying trash partly. It has been my habit with PC to keep trash for 3 months (or whatever your limit is). Keeping unwanted items in your files only clutters the area and is a distraction. Deleting them to the waste basket for 3 months resolves this problem and you've always got them there "just in case". After 3 months - poof. martyaa
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,153
3,860
Atlanta
The Recycle Bin vs the Trash is one (of the few) areas that Windows wins hands down (and by a lot). The Trash is quite primitive and featureless compared to the Recycle Bin. Even the name is better. At least Apple doesn't call it the Garbage.:D
 

DaveF

macrumors 6502a
Aug 29, 2007
732
2
NoVA
Well, firstly you should only keep things in the trash that you want to delete forever. Anything you put in there should be under the assumption that it can be deleted immediately
Why? That view of file deletion has been obsolete for nearly 20 years.

And if it's how you really operation, you don't even need Trash; just permanently delete and skip the extra step of moving files to he Trash.

It is unfortunate that OS X continues to lag Windows on this particularly useful tool.
 

liquidh2o

macrumors 6502
Feb 4, 2004
271
4
Hawaii
if you're not up for using terminal, you should be able to drag and select, or option(or is it command? I forget :/ ) + select the items you want to permanently delete.
 

tdhurst

macrumors 601
Dec 27, 2003
4,009
106
Phoenix, AZ
Yep

I store all my important files in the trash.

I do the same for my paperwork. Sure, I might lose something from time to time, but my desk sure is tidy.

I will never, ever understand why someone would store something in the trash. Isn't is simpler just to leave it in your home folder somewhere? Put it online? Email it to yourself?
 

HLdan

macrumors 603
Aug 22, 2007
6,393
0
The Recycle Bin vs the Trash is one (of the few) areas that Windows wins hands down (and by a lot). The Trash is quite primitive and featureless compared to the Recycle Bin. Even the name is better. At least Apple doesn't call it the Garbage.:D
Yes, the Windows way may be better for some on recovering files and placing them back but what bugs me about people on this issue is they don't see that the Mac OS is built on "logic" and in this case the Windows Recycle Bin is logical as well.
How often does anyone at home throw things in the trash, go back and retrieve them and place them back where they came from ? It's very rare that people dig down in their trash recovering stuff. Trash is "trash". The Recycle Bin works accordingly.
 

TheSpaz

macrumors 604
Jun 20, 2005
7,032
1
What I do sometimes is make a folder on my hard drive called "JUNK" and I'll store stuff in it that's temporary, but not necessarily permanently trash. Then every once in a while, I'll take a peak in it and if I haven't used any of the files for a few months, I'll Trash the contents of the folder and empty the Trash. The Trash should only be used if you're certain the files in it are going to be deleted. Also, just so you know, when you put files into the Trash, you do not free up any space on your hard drive... as long as those files are in there, they'll still take up space on your drive. So make a junk folder and put it in the Dock if you want... even give it a cool icon (maybe a recycle bin if you prefer).
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,153
3,860
Atlanta
Yes, the Windows way may be better for some on recovering files and placing them back but what bugs me about people on this issue is they don't see that the Mac OS is built on "logic" and in this case the Windows Recycle Bin is logical as well.
How often does anyone at home throw things in the trash, go back and retrieve them and place them back where they came from ? It's very rare that people dig down in their trash recovering stuff. Trash is "trash". The Recycle Bin works accordingly.
It's not like that if Apple added these features to Trash you would have to stop eating popcorn when watching a movie or make any other worldly sacrifices. While it may be rare that you need it it's nice to have when you do.;) Maybe I'm a little clumsier (or less perfect) than you but I have had to dig through my trash looking for misplaced stuff. It would be nice if my real trash could be as easy and well organized and searched as Recycle Bin is just for that rare occasion.
 

TimTheEnchanter

macrumors 6502a
Oct 24, 2004
732
0
Minneapolis, MN
I have a folder I call Pre Trash in the lower right corner where I put things I'm not 100% sure I want deleted. Once a week, I clean out the stuff that can and move them to the trash. Have a like folder on the external/second drive to do the same just to save copy time and confusion.

Used this method for many, many years with maybe a few times I had to recover something from Retrospect.
 

iShater

macrumors 604
Aug 13, 2002
6,971
379
Chicagoland
Wow, it never ceases to amaze me how many people just go "Apple way is the logical way". :rolleyes:

I ended up creating a "Pre-Trash" folder to keep stuff that I am planning to toss, or might want to look at again before tossing. I know that Windows (ugh) keep multiple editions of the folder/file in the trash even though it has the same name, and this has been good when doing work with any tool that generates output (build files anyone?) etc.

I haven't found any other way to selectively remove stuff, but I like this Terminal idea and might end up creating a flow for it in Automator. :D
 

HLdan

macrumors 603
Aug 22, 2007
6,393
0
It's not like that if Apple added these features to Trash you would have to stop eating popcorn when watching a movie or make any other worldly sacrifices. While it may be rare that you need it it's nice to have when you do.;) Maybe I'm a little clumsier (or less perfect) than you but I have had to dig through my trash looking for misplaced stuff. It would be nice if my real trash could be as easy and well organized and searched as Recycle Bin is just for that rare occasion.
Julien, once again, you're not understanding the "logic" thing here. Most urban neighborhoods as well as apartment buildings have a "Trash Bin" and a "Recycle Bin" and one of them (Trash) is specifically to throw away stuff for good. Waste management recycles the materials (from the Recycle Bin) to be used again for future products.
I'm sorry to get all philosophical about this but it's just annoying that some of you don't get that the Mac OS is built on logic. There's no point in adding recycling features to a trash bin and still it call it Trash. It's been like this for the last 25 years on the Macintosh.
 

QuarterSwede

macrumors G3
Oct 1, 2005
9,149
1,091
Colorado Springs, CO
Thanks for the replies guys, but when I said "backup" I mean "in case I want to recover them".
Let's say you deleted some files and later you think you should keep (recover) them but you can never do that if you want to permanently delete some other files between these 2 timepoints, except the absurd method some friends indicated above.
I DO buy CDs to backup my files but these were not what I meant in this thread, aren't they?
That's why Apple included a simple utility app in Leopard called Time Machine.

[edit] oh yikes, thanks for the heads up TimTheEnchanter.
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,153
3,860
Atlanta
Julien, once again, you're not understanding the "logic" thing here. Most urban neighborhoods as well as apartment buildings have a "Trash Bin" and a "Recycle Bin" and one of them (Trash) is specifically to throw away stuff for good. Waste management recycles the materials (from the Recycle Bin) to be used again for future products.
I'm sorry to get all philosophical about this but it's just annoying that some of you don't get that the Mac OS is built on logic. There's no point in adding recycling features to a trash bin and still it call it Trash. It's been like this for the last 25 years on the Macintosh.
So your saying Apple CAN'T add any features because the name has it locked in for 25 years and it would defy logic? What if Apple changed the name, would it then be possible to add a feature or two?:D

Also "urban neighborhoods as well as apartment buildings" have a garbage bin and not likely to have a trash bin (since most people don't know trash from garbage).;):D
 

SC68Cal

macrumors 68000
Feb 23, 2006
1,642
0
This thread deserves to be in a dumpster. Finder sucks and could never possibly keep track of where items originated, so everyone had to make up semantic justifications.