General Question

dvchuck's avatar

Help emptying trash on my MacBook.

Asked by dvchuck (230points) September 2nd, 2007 from iPhone

I’m trying to empty the trash on my Mac and keep getting the error message “The operation cannot be completed because the item is in use.

How do I find out which application is using this file. I have no open applications.

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4 Answers

Fallstand's avatar

im sure you did this but did you just try restarting?

sndfreQ's avatar

Secure empty trash-hold down option key while going to Finder/Secure Empty trash; it will force empty the trash; make sure the files you are trashing are docs and not system files…

hearkat's avatar

If you only have one item in the trash, drag it to the desktop and Control click on it and choose “Get Info”. You could also just quit out of every application you are using for a moment. If that doesn’t work Applications>Utilities>Activity Monitor will tell you what applications and processes are running.

As suggested, restarting your computer will probably allow you to delete that file, but if you don’t know what it’s for, I’d suggest you do a little detective work so you don’t miss it.

gcoghill's avatar

I would agree with all three answers above, and add that of none of the them work there are free software utilities that can help. Try a search for “trash” on

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