Whether you’re a Windows or a Mac user, you might want to know how you force recycle bin to permanently remove stubborn files.
On both Windows and Mac, it’s inevitable to get into a very annoying situation when it comes to deleting files. Whether it’s a downloaded program from the Internet or a big busy collection of pictures you’ve already copied to an external hard drive, some files get into the recycle bin and refuse to leave it.
The errors you face when you choose Empty Trash in Mac OS or Empty Recycle Bin on Windows systems are different. There may be a notification saying that the files are currently in use and cannot be deleted. Another scenario would involve the apparent emptying of the recycle bin without error, but there are still documents in it, and the icon has not changed.
Anyway, there are a few steps to take to solve such a scenario. If you have decided that you want to know how to force the recycle bin to empty, the first step is to reboot your system and try again. It is very likely that a program in Windows or Mac OS will still call the files you have deleted and therefore the operating system will refuse to delete them completely.
The second solution is a bit more elaborate and involves the use of a command line. On a Windows computer, click Windows + R, type cmd in the Run window and confirm with enter. In the Command prompt window, type without the quotation marks “rd / s c: \ $ Recycle.Bin” and confirm the execution of the command with Enter. If you have other partitions on the system, change c: from the above command with d: or e: and press Enter.
On Apple systems, the solution is just as simple once you have turned on the Applications – Utilities Terminal. In that window, type without quotes “sudo rm -rf ~ / .Trash” and confirm that command execution with Enter. In the next row, type “sudo rm -rf /Volumes/*/Tracks” and confirm with Enter again. Type your administrator password if it is required.
After following the steps above, it is impossible to still have a file in the trash.