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Unable to Empty Trash on External NTFS Drive in Mac OS X [Solved]

Unable to Empty Trash on External NTFS Drive in Mac OS X [Solved]

NTFS Partitions are not exactly the most stable drive formats but sometimes we still have to use them to make sure they are compatible with other operating systems and allow storing files larger than 4GB. One frequent problem that Mac users face when using external NTFS drives – Unable to Empty trash. You will see files and folders with size zero KB that won’t delete. Here’s a fix.

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Actually these files and folders have corrupt entries on the disk, and even though you don’t need these and have deleted them they will still appear in Trash folder. For example, in the screenshot below as you can see the folder the folders and files all have size zero KB each.

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If you have a lot of these in your Trash, it does seem irritating and sometimes you just wish if there were a way to get rid of them. Well, there is a way. However, you will need to connect your NTFS drive to a Windows Machine.

If you have Windows installed on your Mac using BootCamp, that will work just fine for this purpose too.

How to Delete Trash Files with Size Zero KB:

First, enable Show Hidden Files & Folders in Windows. If you are in Windows XP, go to Control Panel > Folder Options and select this feature as show in the screenshot below. Windows 7 users, refer to this guide to show hidden files.

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Now launch Explorer and open your NTFS Drive. Look for a hidden folder called .Trashes

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When you open this you will see another folder called 501. If you open it you will find, that this is where all those corrupt files are.

Fix unable to empty trash ntfs drive mac os x 3 Fix unable to empty trash ntfs drive mac os x 4

So, just delete everything inside the .Trashes folder and then Empty your Recycle Bin.

That’s all. If you now reconnect your NTFS drive in Mac OS X you should see an empty trash just like mine.

Fix unable to empty trash ntfs drive mac os x 7

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Article by Rajat

Rajat has written 225 articles.

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