Trash - privileges for "O"


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 5, 2002
I'm trying to empty my Trash, and it keeps telling me that "The Operation cannot be completed because you do not have sufficient priviledges for "O".

Well, there's nothing called "O" in the Trash. However, there is a folder called "Temporary Items" (OS X seems to invent these folders at every opportunity!), and it won't delete. It wouldn't matter so much, except that it won't let me delete anything else in the Trash either, and it won't let me move the Temporary Items folder OUT of the Trash - I can only copy it out. I've tried changing the priviledges to Read/Write for everybody, but it doesn't make a difference.

I'm using 10.1.5 (I have Jag but the disc is broken and Apple won't send me another one unless I prove to them that my drive is NOT broken, and I'm like, well, it plays every OTHER CD, including disc 2 of the Jag set, so...)

ANYWAY. Can anybody help?

King Cobra

macrumors 603
Mar 2, 2002
I think evildead knows more than I do about Terminal commands, and he helped me out in a similar situation. Here is what he posted a while back:

"If you want to trash things in a hurry... even protected files then you need to have sudo or root priveges. Do you have root user enabled on your mac? You must do that first. You probably dont want to log in as root all the time so here are you options.

YourUserName% cd /Users/YourUserName/.Trash
(cd is a command to "change directories" the path shown is the path to your trash can)
YourUserName% sudo rm -rf *

(you will be promted for YourUserAccount password.. not the root password)


YourUserName% su -
(you will be prompted for the root password)

root% cd /Users/YourUserName/.Trash
root% rm -rf *
root% rm -rf .*
(to trash invisable files that have a "." infront of them)

Be carfull with rm -rf * it will trash everything in the current directory that does not have a "." infront of it. It is a very powerfull command. If you did a rm -rf / you would trash everything on your partition... well... if the rm utility is loaded into RAM.. if its not.. it will trash its self in the bin directory and kill the process.. but its still very very bad. Be carefull.

The only problem is... if you want to trash stuff in a hurry so no one well find it... this is not the way to do it. Some one could take your drive and recover the stuff you trashed. The only way to really get rid of the stuff is to "Zero out the drive" or the partition. When you trash something all you do it break the link that your OS has to the point on the drive with the data stored on it. The data is still there untill you write over it."

"The prompt doesnt matter... root# or root% or # or bash# ... etc", so don't worry about % or #.

To use root user, read through the article provided by the link below in full to get a better understanding of "root user". Then proceed to Trash your files. You also may need to search a little more carefully for temporary files for your directory from root user. Just be careful with using the rm -rf * command.

AppleCare Knowledge Base


macrumors newbie
Nov 12, 2002
getting rid of "O"

I had the exact same problem and could not find any info on getting rid of it, so i stumbled on the solution accidently...its very easy to solve. Click on the folder in the tradh..should be a temporary folder, at least it was in my case and "get info"...that will tell you where it's home is, go to that home volume and do a "get info" on the volume and you should see a check box under sharing....which will let you override the sharing settings of that volume...once you do that your "O" is history!!! That was in 10.1.5.
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