TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Viewpoint

Volume Number: 18 (2002)
Issue Number: 10
Column Tag: Programming

Programming

by Ilene Hoffman

User Solutions to Pesky Trash Problems

How would you react if you tossed a bag of trash in the dumpster only to have it bounce back to your feet? Odd as this sounds, the inability to empty the Trash has been one of the more unexpected errors encountered all too frequently in Mac OS X. Web pages are filled with shareware solutions and instructions on how to drop into the command line interface to solve trash problems, but assuming you bought your Mac because you like the graphic user interface, let's look at some common problems and solutions to solving those annoying "can't empty the trash" messages.

First, let me caution you, the Trash Can should not be used to save files for later use. The Trash's function is to remove files from your drive. In fact, files aren't really deleted, but the pointers to the file (sort of like location coordinates) are removed, so that the hard drive space is made available for another file. This is why you can recover deleted files. That aside, when you put something in the Trash, you should delete it before shutting your computer down. Each user in Mac OS X has a separate Trash folder inside the Home folder. This folder is invisible to the user, but you can see files you put in the Trash until it is emptied.

If you are not sure you want to toss something, make a new folder inside your documents folder and call it Undecided, so that you can save it for later. You can drag the folder to the Dock, which puts an alias in your Dock for easy access.

To avoid the "Are you sure you want to remove the items in the Trash permanently" dialog, you can press Control and click on the Trash. Select this menu item to empty the Trash without the dialog. You can also press shift-option-command and the delete key to quickly remove a file. Some common errors and solutions are below.

Problem: Error Message:

"The operation cannot be completed because you do not have sufficient privileges for 501" or "The operation cannot be completed because you do not have sufficient privileges for some of the items."

Explanation:

501 is the numeric equivalent of the first user set up in Mac OS X; this means you in most cases.

Privileges refers to who owns the file, who can write to it and who can read it, and therefore, who has the correct permissions to throw the file out.

Possible Causes and Solutions:

    1. This may be caused by one of programs you've run incorrectly setting or altering the permissions on one or more of your files. An interruption in power, or an application freeze can also affect privileges.

    You can check and/ or change the permissions of the file. Click on the file once and choose Show Info from the File menu (or press Command and I together). In the pop-up menu, in the Info window, choose Privileges and check the file's permissions. You need Read & Write permissions to delete a file. If a folder is the problem, remember to apply the changes to enclosed folders also. If you can't change the file's privileges, you can use Apple's Repair Privileges Utility to restore Apple-installed programs to their default permissions. if you are using Mac OS X 10.1.5. (You can find the Repair Privileges Utility at: (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=106900.)

    If these solutions don't work, you can also start up from Mac OS 9, use Sherlock to find the file and delete it. You cannot delete a file from OS 9 while in Classic Mode though.

    2. Attempting to throw away a locked file can also generate the insufficient privileges message.

    Again, choose Show Info from the FIle menu. Unclick the Locked check box and move the file into the Trash again to delete it. Prior to Mac OS X 10.1.5, if a file was locked while in Mac OS 9, you would have to restart in OS 9 to unlock the file before you could toss it. This seems to have been fixed in 10.1.5.

Problem Error Message:

Can't empty the trash becasue ".trash items are in use."

Explanation:

Your computer thinks that a file is still open, and therefore cannot delete the file. Some of these problems may be fixed by upgrading to Mac OS X 10.1.5 or Mac OS X 10.2.

Possible Causes and Solutions:

    1. Check to make sure that the file is closed. Switch to the application used to create the file (click on the icon in the Dock). If you're not sure, quit the application used to create the file, then Empty the Trash.

    2. If you are in the Columns View and the file is "open" in the Preview screen, the system is using the file. Put the file away by (i.e. take it out of the trash). Close the Preview screen in the Column View and drag the file to the trash again.

    3. Some users have reported that waiting a while, and even tossing out another file and then emptying the Trash resolves this problem also.

If you want to resolve your trash problems by using other software, you can look at programs such as:

    BatChmod which changes file permissions and can empty the Trash, or

    Trash It! which is an AppleScript for emptying the Trash, or

    ToTheTrash which helps you manage your about to be trashed files.

You can search Version Tracker (www.versiontracker.com) for other current Mac OS X utilities. You really shouldn't have to resort to using Terminal to empty your Trash.

Now, if you like typing, there are also solutions to fixing your Trash problems from the command line interface. In our next article we'll explore some of the those options for the geek in all of us.


Ilene Hoffman is the Community Director and Editor of MacFixIt Forums and a Contributing Editor for MacTech magazine. She stole her first Mac from her Dad in 1984 after asking him to buy a PC. She's not touched a PC since! She is also the mother of a budding jazz musician and two capricious dogs.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Apple iOS 10.3 - The latest version of A...
iOS 10 is the biggest release of iOS ever. A massive update to Messages brings the power of the App Store to your conversations and makes messaging more personal than ever. Find your route with... Read more
Postbox 5.0.12 - Powerful and flexible e...
Postbox is a new email application that helps you organize your work life and get stuff done. It has all the elegance and simplicity of Apple Mail, but with more power and flexibility to manage even... Read more
Apple Keynote 7.1 - Apple's present...
Easily create gorgeous presentations with the all-new Keynote, featuring powerful yet easy-to-use tools and dazzling effects that will make you a very hard act to follow. The Theme Chooser lets you... Read more
Apple Pages 6.1 - Apple's word proc...
Apple Pages is a powerful word processor that gives you everything you need to create documents that look beautiful. And read beautifully. It lets you work seamlessly between Mac and iOS devices, and... Read more
Apple Numbers 4.1 - Apple's spreads...
With Apple Numbers, sophisticated spreadsheets are just the start. The whole sheet is your canvas. Just add dramatic interactive charts, tables, and images that paint a revealing picture of your data... Read more
Apple macOS Sierra 10.12.4 - The latest...
With Apple macOS Sierra, Siri makes its debut on Mac, with new features designed just for the desktop. Your Mac works with iCloud and your Apple devices in smart new ways, and intelligent... Read more
Xcode 8.3 - Integrated development envir...
Xcode includes everything developers need to create great applications for Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Xcode provides developers a unified workflow for user interface design, coding, testing... Read more
Skype 7.49.0.274 - Voice-over-internet p...
Skype allows you to talk to friends, family and co-workers across the Internet without the inconvenience of long distance telephone charges. Using peer-to-peer data transmission technology, Skype... Read more
Dropbox 22.4.24 - Cloud backup and synch...
Dropbox is an application that creates a special Finder folder that automatically syncs online and between your computers. It allows you to both backup files and keep them up-to-date between systems... Read more
Posterino 3.3.5 - Create posters, collag...
Posterino offers enhanced customization and flexibility including a variety of new, stylish templates featuring grids of identical or odd-sized image boxes. You can customize the size and shape of... Read more

The best deals on the App Store this wee...
Deals, deals, deals. We're all about a good bargain here on 148Apps, and luckily this was another fine week in App Store discounts. There's a big board game sale happening right now, and a few fine indies are still discounted through the weekend.... | Read more »
The best new games we played this week
It's been quite the week, but now that all of that business is out of the way, it's time to hunker down with some of the excellent games that were released over the past few days. There's a fair few to help you relax in your down time or if you're... | Read more »
Orphan Black: The Game (Games)
Orphan Black: The Game 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Dive into a dark and twisted puzzle-adventure that retells the pivotal events of Orphan Black. | Read more »
The Elder Scrolls: Legends is now availa...
| Read more »
Ticket to Earth beginner's guide: H...
Robot Circus launched Ticket to Earth as part of the App Store's indie games event last week. If you're not quite digging the space operatics Mass Effect: Andromeda is serving up, you'll be pleased to know that there's a surprising alternative on... | Read more »
Leap to victory in Nexx Studios new plat...
You’re always a hop, skip, and a jump away from a fiery death in Temple Jump, a new platformer-cum-endless runner from Nexx Studio. It’s out now on both iOS and Android if you’re an adventurer seeking treasure in a crumbling, pixel-laden temple. | Read more »
Failbetter Games details changes coming...
Sunless Sea, Failbetter Games' dark and gloomy sea explorer, sets sail for the iPad tomorrow. Ahead of the game's launch, Failbetter took to Twitter to discuss what will be different in the mobile version of the game. Many of the changes make... | Read more »
Splish, splash! The Pokémon GO Water Fes...
Niantic is back with a new festival for dedicated Pokémon GO collectors. The Water Festival officially kicks off today at 1 P.M. PDT and runs through March 29. Magikarp, Squirtle, Totodile, and their assorted evolved forms will be appearing at... | Read more »
Death Road to Canada (Games)
Death Road to Canada 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $7.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Get it now at the low launch price! Price will go up a dollar every major update. Update news at the bottom of this... | Read more »
Bean's Quest Beginner's Guide:...
Bean's Quest is a new take on both the classic platformer and the endless runner, and it's free on the App Store for the time being. Instead of running constantly, you can't stop jumping. That adds a surprising new level of challenge to the game... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

13-inch MacBook Airs, Apple refurbished, in s...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2016 13″ MacBook Airs available starting at $849. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: - 13″ 1.6GHz/8GB/128GB MacBook Air: $... Read more
12-inch Retina MacBooks on sale for $1199, sa...
B&H has 12″ 1.1GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Space Gray Retina MacBook: $1199 $100 off MSRP - 12″ 1.1GHz... Read more
Save up to $260 with Apple refurbished 12-inc...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2016 12″ Retina MacBooks available for $200-$260 off MSRP. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping is free. The following... Read more
13-inch 2.7GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 2015 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina Apple MacBook Pro on sale for $170 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro (MF839LL/A): $... Read more
15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 2015 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro (MJLQ2LL/A) on sale for $1799.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $200 off MSRP. Read more
Save up to $160 with Apple refurbished 9-inch...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 9″ and 12″ Apple iPad Pros available for up to $160 off the cost of new iPads. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 32GB 9″... Read more
Apple Chip Foundry TSMC To Begin A11 System-o...
Digitimes’ Steve Shen is reporting today that according to the Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN), chipmaker and major Apple supplier foundery Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC... Read more
MacX MediaTrans 3.5 iOS Data Transfer Spring...
MacXDVD Software has announced general availability of the latest MacX MedTrans 3.5, featuring a new user interface (UI). MacX MediaTrans is ann iPhone manager that enables free data transfer between... Read more
Regular Price $19.95 DupeZap 4 Finder For OS...
Hyperbolic Software has announced the release of DupeZap 4.0.2, their modern duplicate finder developed exclusively for macOS. DupeZap 4 is an utility for Mac owners seeking to reclaim disk space... Read more
B-Eng Releases SSD Health Check for MVNe for...
Fehraltorf, Switzerland based B-Eng has announced the release and immediate availability of SSD Health Check for MVNe for MacBook Pro, their app that delivers important data and insights for MVNe... Read more

Jobs Board

Fulltime aan de slag als shopmanager in een h...
Ben jij helemaal gek van Apple -producten en vind je het helemaal super om fulltime shopmanager te zijn in een jonge en hippe elektronicazaak? Wil jij werken in Read more
*Apple* Mobile Master - Best Buy (United Sta...
**492889BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobile Master **Location Number:** 000886-Norwalk-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Best Buy Apple Mobile Master do?** Read more
*Apple* Mobile Master - Best Buy (United Sta...
**492472BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobile Master **Location Number:** 000470-Seattle-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Best Buy Apple Mobile Master do?** Read more
*Apple* Mobile Master - Best Buy (United Sta...
**492562BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobile Master **Location Number:** 000853-Jackson-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Best Buy Apple Mobile Master do?** Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.