How to Empty Trash on Mac When Disk Is Full?

The reflexive way of deleting any item is to drag or move the item to the Trash. You can press “Command + Delete” to move files to the Trash, or right click on it to choose “Move to Trash”. But the files still remain within your system which won’t take up space without your knowing until you delete them from the Trash can also for good.

Though Trash utility is a good reminder of checking if you have accidentally or mistakenly deleted something or not, but when it comes to the storage issues, you should know how to get rid of heaps of items from the Trash folder as well.

We would take two types of approaches to empty trash on mac when disk is full or when the data that won’t delete, one manually and other using a Software. You can choose any of it according to your preferences.

#1: Delete Items from Trash Manually on Mac

If you know where is Trash icon on your system, then deleting files from the Trash will not be that a difficult task. This is exactly the place where you would find many on purpose deleted files and mistakenly deleted files. So before you head out to the process of deletion, check thoroughly for once to see if there is any useful file item that you need to keep in your system.

Firstly click on “Trash” icon. Here; choose the “Empty Trash” button to empty the entire Trash section. You can empty the Trash also by pressing three key combination- “Command+Shift+Delete.

This method would undoubtedly avail a lot of space back to you, but there are still many other methods that can be employed to do the same job. To know them, continue with your reading down the article.

#2: Securely Empty Trash on Mac

Deleting the unused files from Trash is not enough to get rid of the problem permanently. Most of the time, the deleted files or items remain on the Hard disk even after being deleted. They are marked for getting overwritten the next time your Mac needs space. Thus they are not fully destroyed and can be restored later on by any anonymous users using disk recovery softwares. Emptying your Trash Securely gives you the opportunity to delete the items from the Trash can without any scope of finding them in the hard drive anymore.

To perform the task, begin it with clicking and holding the Trash icon in the dock. And at the same time, hold the command key and click on the Trash icon once again. “Empty Trash” label will be changed into “Secure Empty Trash” label. So now choose it by giving a click on it.

You can also do the same job of turning “Empty Trash” to “Secure empty trash” by opening the “Finder” menu and choose “Preferences”. Here tick the checkbox “Empty Trash Securely”.

Once the Secure Empty Trash is selected, follow the first method to delete the files from the Trash can.

#3: Force Empty Trash on Mac with CleanGeeker 

 In case you are not fully satisfied with the manual methods of securely emptying the Trash section, then using a software to perform the same job would not be a bad idea. In fact using software will enable you to delete all types of files. CleanGeeker is the primal software of today’s discussion. It has been verified and authenticated by many users and experts for its unparallel junk file cleaning capability. It can clean any type of file on a Mac including the ones stored in your Trash. In fact when you delete all types of files using it, Trash becomes automatically empty. Few important features of this wonderful tool is elaborated here. Read them before attempting to emptying your trash using it.


  • It can clean all types of junk files, including duplicate files, large sized junk files, unused and damaged applications.
  • Three types of scanning are available- Junk Scan; App Scan; Deep Scan.
  • Additional tools are provided, which includes, File Shredder; Compress PDF; Open Winmail.Dat; Extensions, etc.
  • It is compatible with all the Mac OS versions.
  • Memory Optimization with 100% is guaranteed.

Use of CleanGeeker :

Download and install the tool from its official website, where you can find the exact version of the tool. Once the tool screen turns up, click on “Home” button from the left hand side list of options. At the same time on the right hand wider screen, you can check out the usage of CPU and disk space, the last scanning time, etc.

Click on “Junk Clean” button below on the left, and tick the checkboxes on the right to select the garbage files and click on “Delete” to flush them out.

Go to “Duplicate Clean” button to scan the duplicate files which unnecessarily take the storage space, select them, and then click “Delete” to clean them.

In this way you can delete the large sized junk files from the option “Large Files Clean” and applications from the “App Clean” button.

That’s it!


Emptying your trash securely as mentioned in the second method of this article is the most secured and suitable to secure empty trash on mac. But there are many other files like duplicate files, app cache, etc. hidden in the backdrop which can take up a lot of space and are not verily shown in the Trash folder. To delete all such files use the software depicted in the third method. Try to  empty Trash on Mac once in every week to keep your system tidy and clean.

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