Technology Tips

What Should You Do When Files Won’t Delete on Mac?

According to one study, there are 100 million active Mac in use. If you’re using one of those Macs, you may be running into an issue where your files won’t delete. You’re not the only one. There are all kinds of reasons why you can’t delete files on your Mac, so keep reading to find out how to fix this issue!

File in Use Error

If there’s a file that’s being in use, you will not be able to delete the file. You’ll know that it’s in use because your Mac will display an error that says “File in use.” Then, you’ll have to figure out which application has it open.

If you can find the application, close it and try deleting the file again.

However, if you have too many applications open, then you can force quit your active applications. to do this, click on the Apple logo that’s in your Mac’s menu bar. You should be able to find that in the top, left-hand corner.

Then, click Force Quit. You can then see a list of all the apps that are running on your Mac.

If you see an app that is using the file, close the application. If it won’t close, do a Force Quit.

Now the file should disappear! If it doesn’t, then you should try restarting your computer. This will automatically close all applications on your computer, so it should free up every file.

However, keep in mind that you may lose some progress if you haven’t saved anything.

Use Finder

When figuring out how to delete files on Mac, the Finder application will really help your process.

Most people will try deleting files by just dragging them into the trash. However, that may not work. You may get an error saying that “File can’t be deleted.” In this case, you can use Finder to fix the issue.

To do this, press Command, Shift, and Escape. When the menu pops open, click Relaunch. Before you start deleting, make sure that Finder finishes loading.

You can also try to Force quit finder. You can click on that Apple logo again and then Force Quit Finder.

After you’ve force quit finder, then you can try and go to the empty trash option. If that doesn’t work, you can select the option Secure Empty Trash. This will delete all of the files into your trash can.

Empty Trash

Once you delete files, you’ll have to empty your trash. However, you may not even be able to delete files from your Trash. You may need to fix this by repairing your desk.

There could be corruption on the disk that isn’t letting you delete files. To fix this, restart your Mac. You can do this by going to your menu, but you can also hold Command and R.

In the Utilities window, you can also select Disk Utility. Once you select that, click Continue.

You’ll then be able to select the disk from the files you want to be deleted. Then click “First Aid” and start the repair process.

When that’s done, then you can restart your computer and force empty the trash.

File is Locked

If a file is locked, you won’t be able to make changes to it, and that includes being able to delete it. So in order to delete files, you’ll have to unlock the file.

First, control and click on the file you want to unlock. Then select Get Info.

When you’re on that menu, you can then expand the General section. You should be able to find a checkbox that says Locked. Deselect it.

You can also try using Terminal to unlock files. Open Terminal and type this in: “chflags nouchg /path/to/file”.

Once it unlocks the file, you can delete it as you normally would.

Use Terminal

Terminal is another powerful tool that will help you delete files. However, you should be careful using this method, because this can delete any locked file, and it won’t give you an alert message before it does it.

To delete files, type this into Terminal: “sudo rm -rf ~/.Trash/*”.

However, if you are running an operating software that is about 10.10, you may want to follow these steps. Once you open Terminal, type this: “sudo rm –R “. Don’t press enter, but instead press space.

The command won’t work unless you add that space after the R. Then, you can control and click on the trash can. Select all the files you want in the trash, and then drag and drop them into the terminal window.

Doing this will make a path to each file you want to be removed. Now, you can press Enter.

You’ll be asked to enter your password, and then you can enter your password and press enter again. The process of deleting everything may take a few minutes depending on how large the files are.

This will permanently empty your trash can, so if you accidentally delete something you needed, you won’t be able to get it back.

Learn More About What to do When Files Won’t Delete

These are only a few tips to try if your files won’t delete, but there are many other strategies you can use.

We know that figuring out how to delete files can be frustrating, but there are many other Mac problems you could encounter as well.

If you run into any others, make sure you explore our website to find more articles just like this one!

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