Mac Trash Can’t Be Deleted? Here’s How to Fix It

by Caleb Kingston

If you’re like me and backup your mac using Time Machine, you may have tried dragging some older backup files into the trash only to discover when you try to empty the trash, you get this error…

Some items in the Trash cannot be deleted because of System Integrity Protection.

Although there are easier and safer methods for deleting most stubborn files, these methods didn’t work for me so I had to call apple tech support. And here are the instructions that worked for me.

Step 1: Shut down your mac

Step 2: Hold down command + R while starting your mac up. Do NOT remove these keys until you see an apple logo on the screen. This will start up your mac in recovery mode.

Step 3: In the top menu bar, click on utilities and in the drop down, click on terminal. This will open up a terminal to run a command.

This next step is very critical to get spelling right as you are in a programming environment and can screw something up very easily.

Step 4: Type in the command csrutil disable and press return.

Step 5: Click on the apple on the top left and click restart.

Step 6: After you’ve logged back in, try emptying your trash as you normally do. Your trash should now empty successfully without any errors.

I hope you find these instructions as helpful as I did. enjoy!

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