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Kyle Brockman
Kyle Brockman, Mac Genius
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 114
Experience:  5 yrs. experience building, repairing, maintaining and configuring macs in a corporate environment.
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I cant empty my trash. I get an error message which says

Resolved Question:

I can't empty my trash. I get an error message which says that the following item "wmphelp.htm" is locked in the trash and will not empty the trash as a result. I have searched Spotlight and it can't find the item. What can I do.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Kyle Brockman replied 7 years ago.
What you need to do is open your trash and find the file in there. Once you have found it in the trash, you will need to hold the control key and click on the file. Then let go of the control key and click on get info. Then a window will come up with the file's information. In the window you should see something that says locked with a check box next to it, uncheck it. Then close the window and the trash folder. You should then be able to empty the trash.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I have been trying to open the trash as you suggested before I contacted you but am having problems with that as well. I double click on the trash bin and what pops up is three folders. Two are empty and other is simply a folder which contains my applications..... which seem strange to me. I seem to remember opening the trash sometime ago but apparently have forgotten how.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Relist: Its been over two hours and I have not gotten an answer to my follow up question..
Its been over two hours and I have not gotten an answer to my follow up question.
Expert:  Kyle Brockman replied 7 years ago.
The easiest way to open the trash is right on the dock, clicking on the trash can.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
As I said previously, I click on the trash can but all that comes up is three folders, two are empty and the third is a folder that contains my applications which is very strange. For some reason I can't go into the trash and find the item that is locked and unlock it. Any other ideas. Getting into the trash is the problem we need to solve before I can implement your earlier suggestion.
Expert:  Kyle Brockman replied 7 years ago.
In the applications folder is there like address book and everything or just some old apps you don't want anymore?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
It is every application that I have on the computer 54 in total. The are no old apps.
Expert:  Kyle Brockman replied 7 years ago.
Can you double click on your hard drive on the desktop and please let me know if there is an applications folder in there.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I double clicked on the HD and yes there is an application folder in there with all my applications.
Expert:  Kyle Brockman replied 7 years ago.
Ok that is odd, sounds like a copy of your applications folder was made then deleted. What version of OS X are you running?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I am running 10.4.11
Expert:  Kyle Brockman replied 7 years ago.
OK, this part is going to be a bit tricky but should resolve the emptying trash issue.

Open the terminal application, it's in /Applications/Utilities

After that is open type the following in

sudo rm -fr

Then open the trash up, click and drag the applications folder from the trash, in to the terminal window. It should that add the folder location to the end of the command you just typed in. Make sure you have a space after -fr

Now hit enter in the terminal window. It will then ask for a password, type in your password XXXXX the computer. This with then delete all the files in the applications folder that is in your trash. At that point you should be able to empty your trash normally.

Just make sure you want that folder deleted, once you do this process there isn't a recovery for the folder you drag into terminal.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I believe that it worked. There is currently nothing in my trash.

I have only one other comment and question. I assume that the applications in the trash prevented me from deleting the trash bin. But why could I not see all the other trash items? Was it because they were infact deleted and what was remaining could not be deleted and simply remained in the bin?
Expert:  Kyle Brockman replied 7 years ago.
Glad to hear it's working. What happens with applications is they are like file folders, they have the files need to run inside them. From time to time one of those files is locked. So if you use that command it will just delete the files with out question. Where emptying the trash will not let you delete a file if it's locked.
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