Trash, how does it work?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Eldiablojoe, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. Eldiablojoe macrumors 6502a


    Dec 4, 2009
    West Koast
    I often empty out my Trash via Secure Emptying it.

    However, sometimes I get a message like, "Can't delete Evernote dmg because the application is in use."

    I am confused.

    If I download a program, like Evernote for example, and then install it, can't I drag the item from my Downloads folder to the Trash? Once installed, the .dmg file doesn't serve a purpose right?

    Sometimes, I'm prompted to drag a file I've just downloaded into the Applications folder. After doing that, I usually clean out the downloads folder by dragging items into the Trash.

    Same thing goes for when I update software. I will download and install the new version, and then drag the older dmg file into the Trash.

    So why does it say the app is running when I'm trying to empty the Trash? Could these kinds of items dragged into the Trash explain why I seem to have 3,000 some odd items in my trash when I go to Secure Empty it?

  2. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    If you've doubleclicked to dmg to install some software, the dmg is mounted on the OS - if you look in the Devices section of Finder, or under /Volumes in Terminal, you'll see it there. Until you unmount it, you can't remove it from Trash, since it's still in use.

    You can "delete" it by moving it to Trash, but that doesn't actually delete it - it just modifies the information on the file, that it's now in the Trash folder.
  3. Eldiablojoe thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Dec 4, 2009
    West Koast
    The only things I see under Finder -> Devices is:

    John Doe's MacBook
    MacBook Harddrive
    WD SmartWare
    My Passport


    I do want to make sure that older versions of software are deleted, and that the dmg's are "mounted" in the proper places (since I'm guessing the Trash is not the proper place).

    Thanks for your help.
  4. Aniday macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2009
    I don't really know why OS X does this sometimes. But there's an easy way to force it to delete. A little warning, you can't recover if you do this.

    Delete it using sudo in Terminal. sudo doesn't give a crap what Finder says.

    type in: sudo rm -rf

    (be sure to have a space after "-rf")

    And then drag the file from the trash into the Terminal window. Press enter. Type in your password. It's gone.
  5. mac2x macrumors 65816

    Sep 19, 2009
    ...and make DAMN SURE you are in ~/.Trash before you do any sudo rm -rf!!! Please!!! :eek:
  6. Eldiablojoe thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Dec 4, 2009
    West Koast
    Thanks Mac2X, I don't intend to do *any*thing in Terminal. I'm sure to F something up, lol.
  7. shwc macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2005
    Actually if it says 3000 items it means that you have 1000 files that it will overwrite with ones and zeros three times (1000 X 3 = 3000). I have always found this notation a little strange but this is what the "number items to be deleted" means under secure delete.

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