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MacTechTrainer, Sr. Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 1700
Experience:  Apple Certified Desktop & Portables Technician, A+, Cross-Platform (Mac/PC) Tech - for over 14 Years
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I am trying to empty the trash of a lot of files and it is

Resolved Question:

I am trying to empty the trash of a lot of files and it is taking a very long time. What is the short cut to empty the trash of many files very quickly?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  MacTechTrainer replied 7 years ago.
Hello, and thank you for asking your question, with
I am Sr. Mac Support Specialist, Terry, glad to assist you.

No worries- here are some steps you can try to resolve the issue:

• What may be slowing the process of deletion of the files from your Trash, may be because of the some of your files that need to be deleted by way of Secure Empty Trash. So try this:

• Hold the Option button down.
• Right click (or control click if using a single button mouse) on the Trash and select Empty Trash

• This should process a removal of all files within the trash, both secure and regular files. How fast it goes however, does depend on the amount of RAM you have as well as the number of windows, applications and processes you may have going on at that time.

• To speed the process up, before attempting this procedure, close some of your larger applications and the open windows that you are not using.
Let me know if this helps.

If you have any more questions, regarding your technical issue, please feel free to reply to this post as I am always ready to assist. Thank you!


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
It goes through the process of "preparing to empty trash" but is still taking a very long time to empty (over 700,000 files). I failed to mention that this is coming off an external hard drive that was used for back-ups. It is connected to a MacBook via a Firewire cable.
Expert:  MacTechTrainer replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for providing me more details on that issue.

However, to be honest with you, there is no faster way, especially now that I understand that the you are deleting so many files- that within itself, is going to take a while and there is no way of going around it.

What I would recommend you do if necessary (and if you need your Mac for other applications or web usage), is perform the emptying of the Trash as your last task on the computer for the night. This way when you are off the Mac, you can allow the deletion process to proceed through the night and should be completed by morning.

That option is per your discretion of course, but I figure that will be the least path of resistance for you.

Keep in mind, removing so many files has near to the same effect on your Mac, as if you were downloading an enormous file from the internet, it will be a pull on resources and it will take sometime.

Thanks for your patience!

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