How to Secure Empty Trash on Mac [ENG]

As you can see on your Mac, there is a silver trash can. This trash can actually represent an invisible Mac trash folder. All the files, folders that you drag into your trash can will stay there unless you try to clean your trash.

Basically, once you put a file or a folder on your trash, it does not mean that they are completely deleted. Those files and folders will remain there and you actually can recover them. This is one of the features of all computers or laptops for you to be safe on what you are deleting. However, these items that you have on your trash actually eats up some of your storage.
For you to be able to get rid of all the items that you have on your trash, you have to delete them. However, are you really sure that once you empty your trash all your files that is in there are gone?

Here, we are going to talk about how you can empty your trash completely. We are also going to show you here the difference between “empty trash” and “empty trash securely”.  Also, we are going to talk about here why Apple removed one of their features which is the “El Capitan”.

Part 1: What is The Difference Between Empty Trash and Securely Empty Trash

There are actually two ways on how to empty the trash on your Mac. One is called “Empty Trash”, and the other one is called “Secure Empty Trash”.

Once that you have empty your trash on your Mac, all the files that are inside your trash are not completely gone. The space that they occupy is actually marked as available, however, the files are still in your drive. They will be gone once they are overwritten by new data. This also means that once someone is going to recover deleted data from your Mac, it is possible for them to succeed. This is a bit risky especially if you have a very confidential file that you deleted from your Mac. However, this is where the secure empty trash comes in.

Once that you have empty your trash securely, the system will then write a binary number (ones and zeros) on the file that you have deleted. This way, it will be impossible to recover the data. Here is a brief explanation of these two options for removing the files you have on your trash.

1. Empty Trash

It is actually an option that does not go anywhere. The files that you have removed in your trash using this method is still there. They are just invisible from view. Doing this method will actually have a benefit for you. This is because once you just merely empty your trash, you can always recover them if ever you changed your mind. In doing this, you will be needing to have a file recovery. However, as time passes by, you might have saved more files which will eventually be caused it to be overwritten. 

2. Securely Empty Trash

Once you do this method, there is no turning back at all. What this option does is that it completely erases all the files that are in your trash off of your hard drive. You will not be able to perform any file recovery procedure just in case that you want to get back those folders that you already deleted.
However, this has also a great benefit for you especially if you have a very confidential or sensitive file you deleted. This is because once you have securely empty your trash, you will not be able to recover them. This method is actually recommended for those people who are planning to sell their Mac because it will completely wipe off your hard drive.

Also, before you choose from thee two options on how you can empty your trash, go ahead and check all the files that your trash contains first. This is for you to ensure that none of the files there is useful to you.

Part 2: Why Did Apple Remove Secure Empty Trash from El Capitan

El Capitan one of Mac’s operating system. The reason as to why Apple removed secure empty trash from El Capitan merely because Apple had to find out that they are not sure that all the files will be securely deleted. This is because they are no longer sure anymore if those files that you delete on El Capitan will be completely gone. This is also one of the reasons as to why they have removed it from El Capitan.

The feature secure empty trash was actually built in a hard drive technology. Many Mac users are using a solid-state drive which can actually store your data in a completely different way. If you can notice on an SSD, each removable area is actually experiencing wear and tear.

 Part 3: How to Secure Empty Trash

There are actually two ways on how you can secure empty trash on your Mac. One of them is a bit complex and the other one is very simple, safe, and easy to do. Go ahead and securely empty your trash for your own good. This is also good if you do not want anyone else your files be recovered from your Mac.

Secure Empty Trash Using Terminal

Before you proceed with this method, keep in mind that you can make a mess using the Apple’s Terminal. This is why you have to make sure that you understand and follow all of the commands and type them in without error.

Step 1: Launch Terminal on your Mac.

For you to do this, go to Finder then select Application and then click on Utilities.

Step 2: Key in the following command. Make sure that you leave a space after the last letter: srm=v

Step 3: And then, on the space after “v”, go ahead and drag there the files that you want to delete.

Step 4: After that, just go ahead and click on Return. Then the file that you choose is now gone.

Just go ahead and repeat the steps for each of your individual files.

Secure Empty Trash Using iMyMac Cleaner

Now this is the easiest, quickest, and simple way for you to securely empty your trash on your Mac. The iMyMac does not only clean your trash securely but it can also help you clean up other trash been that is commonly overlooked by users.

Aside from emptying your trash securely, the iMyMac Cleaner can also help you to remove all of your junk files, fix your cluttered desktop, find and remove your old and large files that you no longer use. It can also help you to get off your email attachments, your iTunes backup file that you do not need, and the multi-language that you have on your Mac that you do not even use.

The iMyMac Cleaner will also help your Mac with its performance. This is by speeding it up. And using the iMyMac Cleaner, you will be able to gain more extra storage once you remove all the files, folders, and apps that you no longer need.

Here is a guide for you on how you can use the iMyMac Cleaner for you to securely empty your trash.

Step 1: Download and Install the iMyMac Cleaner

First, you have to download the software from our official website at Once you have fully downloaded the program, go ahead and install it on your Mac.

Step 2: Launch the iMyMac Cleaner

Run the iMyMac Cleaner on your Mac. On the main interface of the program, you will be able to see where your Mac system status. Click on the Junk File module from the left side of the screen for you to proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Scan All Junks on Your Mac

Once that you have selected the module, go ahead and click on the Scan button. The iMyMac Cleaner will then start to scan all of the junks that you have on your Mac. Wait until the program is done with the process. Scanning process may take some time depending on how much junk you have on your Mac.

Step 4: View All Categories and Choose

Once that the iMyMac Cleaner is done with the scanning process, you will then be able to see all your unused and unwanted files on your Mac. They will be categorized by folder. This way, it will be easier for you to select the files that you want to remover from your Mac.

On the listed categories, you will see there the following:

Application Cache
Photo Junks
Mail Junks
System Cache
User Log
Trash Bin

 From those given categories, go ahead and choose Trash Bin folder for you to securely empty your trash.

Step 5: Review and Securely Empty Your Tash

Once that you have clicked the category Trash Bin from the shown list on your Mac, go ahead and check out all the files that it contains. You will be able to see these items on the right side of your screen. Review everything for you to make sure that you no longer need any of those items or if you want some things to remain.

Once you have reviewed the items that the folder contains, go ahead and click on the Clean button. The iMyMac Cleaner will then ask you to confirm if you want to continue the changes. If so, just go ahead and click on the Confirm button.

Note: You can also do the same steps if you want to remove other junk files that you have. You can also the same steps if you want to delete your cluttered files and if you want to located and remove your old large files from your Mac.

Step 6: Trash is Securely Emptied

And there you have it! Your trash is now completely and securely empty. For you to make sure that there are no files left behind, you will see there an indication that says “Zero KB”. This means that your trash is completely empty. Other files that you clean will not have this indication because some folders are auto recreated folders.

Part 4: Conclusion

As you can see, emptying your trash on your Mac is not that easy because you have to consider many things before you take this action. Most Mac users would just merely empty their trash on their Mac in the simplest way they know. However, it will not give them more storage space even if they empty their trash.

This is because of you just empty your trash in a regular way, the files that you have deleted from your trash will still be there and is still taking up some of your storage space. Luckily, you have the option to securely empty your trash. And the best, easiest, quickest, and simplest way to do this is by using the iMyMac Cleaner. There is no doubt that the iMyMac Cleaner will most certainly do its job.

Using the iMyMac is the best solution for you because unlike using the Terminal, you do not have to worry about anything that can be damaged. The iMyMac Cleaner will securely empty your trash in no time.

Aside from emptying your trash securely, you will be able to do other things on your Mac. This is because the iMyMac Cleaner has many tools that you can choose from. Of course, this will depend on the thing that you want to do such as installing Mac application, finding similar photos, finding and deleting your duplicate files, clean up your browser and more. It can also help you to speed up your Mac to experience a better performance. You will be able to gain more of your storage space from your hard drive because of the fact that you have deleted all unwanted and unneeded files, apps, and folders from your Mac.

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Sobre Jorge Pizarro

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