OS X

Mac Slow to Empty Trash?


Is your Mac taking forever to empty the trash? Well the reason for this could be down to one simple hidden setting; Secure Empty trash has been turned on by default. Before explaing how to configure this setting let me start by explaining what it is and how it works.

Most people believe that when they have deleted a file it is removed from the computers hard drive permanently, unfortunately it isn’t quite as simple as that.

Instead of the file being destroyed in many cases it is just the index that remembers the location of the files data that is erased, which leaves the actual data still salvageable by some data recovery programs. Secure empty trash is a utility thats built into Mac OS X that attempts foils data recovery methods by repeatedly writing over the blocks the deleted files occupied. A side effect of this security measure is that it much much slower to empty trash.

Follow these steps to configure the Secure Empty Trash default setting:

1. Go to the Finder menu and choose preferences, this will open the Finder Preferences panel.

Finder Preferences

2. choose advanced from the top menu.

Finder Preferences Advanced

3. Untick the Empty Trash securely option.

Empty Trash Securely

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  • Yes it will leave things insecure, since they are technically still on your drive, but when all you are trying to delete are some images and text files, secure emptying your trash is over kill. You mostly want speed over security. If you are deleting, for example, a 401k PDF, you might want secure empty trash on. For the most part, the faster empty trash is better.

  • Thank you. I was stuck for like 2 days. But now I finally dont have to wait for emptying my bin. It took like more than a minute just to empty the bin which has got some small file.

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