Erase Free Space?? Please help!!

Discussion in 'macOS' started by macbookair10, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. macbookair10 macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2012

    Until yesterday, I didn't know that when you delete an item and empty the trash bin, that the item doesn't actually get deleted from the computer! I just learned about the option to empty trash securely, but it was a couple of days too late.

    I temporarily moved over a folder from my external hard drive onto my macbook air, and it was 40-50 gigs. Once I was done with it, I deleted the folder. I noticed that after I put it in the trash and emptied the trash, it really didn't change the available space on my macbook very much! I then learned that I'm supposed to empty trash securely if we want to truly delete the item from the computer. So then I try the erase free space option in disk utility and after a couple of hours, it still didn't really do much. What can I do to recover the 40-50 gigs of space?? Please help!
  2. heisenberg123 macrumors 603


    Oct 31, 2010
    Hamilton, Ontario
    its probably just being stored in a local snapshot for time machine turn time machine off than on and you might have to restart that should remove it
  3. macbookair10 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2012
    I don't use time machine though....


    And I restarted the computer but it also didn't do much. maybe gained 1gb
  4. smirk macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2002
    Orange County, CA
    You are confusing the standard emptying of trash (which leaves your data on the drive but basically flags it as being deleted) with the secure delete option (which physically blows away the data on the drive so that it can't be recovered by the person you sell your computer to, the FBI, your wife, whatever). Both means of deleting files will delete them and free up the disk space.

    If you are deleting files and emptying the trash and your free disk space isn't dropping, something else is going on.

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