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‘delete’ doesn’t send files to Trash



If you find deleting a file deletes it immediately without sending it to the Trash first, you may need to fix permisssions on your Trash folder. 

Open Terminal (Applications > Utilities > and type

ls -alF

Scroll up if necessary to the beginning of the list and you should see a couple of folders whose names begin with a dot.


Ignore .Trashes, but look at the permissions on .Trash, they should read like this (also see the pic above):

drwx- – – – – – <your_username> staff (size) (date) .Trash/

Ignore the numbers, but if the permissions are different or the username is not your account username, then do the following:

At the Terminal command prompt, type the following, replacing ‘your_username’ with (yep, you guessed it…) your username.

sudo chown -R your_username .Trash

For example, if my user name is ‘SnowLpd’ I would type
sudo chown -R SnowLpd .Trash

Then press ‘Return’. You will need to enter your password, which will be invisible when you type it (so type carefully). Now go and test your ‘delete’ function to see if the problem is cured. 🙂 


Related Posts

why does Trash ask for a password? (Permissions Part 1)



why does Trash ask for a password? (Permissions Pt 1)

There are several reasons why Trash may ask for your password. Let’s deal with the obvious ones first:

1. FileVault is turned on
Solution: either turn FileVault off, or put up with the behaviour.

2. If you are using an account with ‘Parental Controls’ enabled, the person who set up your account may have denied you permission to delete, modify or move some or all files.
Solution: Speak to mom!

If 1 and 2, aren’t your problem, then you may have some permissions errors.

3. Check Permissions on .Trash
— 1. Open a Terminal window (Applications >Utilities > and check the permissions by typing/pasting in the following:

ls -al

You should end up with a long list, among which will be the permissions for your .Trash folder. Mine looks like this:

drwx—— 2 SnowLpd staff 68 29 Nov 15:33 .Trash

— 2. What’s important here that the name after the series of ‘drwx’ letters is the same as your user name (my user name, as you can see, is ‘SnowLpd’). If it is, then ignore the rest of this post and go to the post Permissions Pt2.

If the name is not the same, then you need to type this command into Terminal:

sudo chown -R your_username .Trash

Where you replace your_username with (surprise…) your user name, which is also the name of your home folder (note there’s a space both before and after your_username). Thus, for example, if in the previous step it said ‘root’ instead of my username, then I’d type in ‘sudo chown -R SnowLpd .Trash’.

—3. Now press ‘Return’. You will be prompted for your admin password. Type it in, but notice that you won’t see anything as you type, so type carefully. Hit ‘Return’ again. You should be returned to the Terminal prompt pretty quickly. Quit and see if your problems are solved.

4. If your .Trash permissions were OK, then you may need to fix either system permissions or ACL permissions. To do that, go to the next post.

Related Posts
how to fix permissions (Permissions Pt 2)
‘delete’ doesn’t send files to Trash

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