How to Securely Empty Trash Bin on Mac?



updated on 2022-05-03 to Mac Data Erasure

Macs have a reputation for being more durable than other computers. You could consider upgrading your Mac, not because of poor performance, but because of a newer operating system. When replacing a Mac, though, you should remove all of your data and directories. If you believe that erasing files will secure their safety, you are incorrect. Before selling your Mac, make sure it's empty of junk. This will prevent anyone from gaining access to your data and misusing them.

What Is Secure Empty Trash, and How Does It Work?

We are simply emptying the trash can when we delete files from it. There's no guarantee that it's been completely wiped! All of it may be restored with the use of effective data recovery software.

Simply said, unless your data has been wiped, any data on your Mac can be retrieved. This is why you need to clear your garbage in a safe manner on your Mac.

By putting a string of zeros and ones (Binary combination) over deleted files, you are effectively making them unrecoverable. This capability was previously only accessible in OS X Yosemite and prior versions of OS X. However, it was phased out in favor of the latter because it didn't operate with flash drives.

The distinction between Secure Empty Trash and Empty Trash

In macOS, when you empty the trash, the files inside aren't truly deleted. The system marks the space they used as open for overwriting, but the files themselves remain on your drive until something else overwrites them. This implies that if someone wanted to retrieve erased files using special software, they could do it, though it would be a lengthy process. The safe empty trash option comes in handy here.

When you safely empty trash, the system puts a succession of ones and zeroes over the file you've erased, rendering it unrecoverable. This function was available in OS X until Apple deleted it with the introduction of El Capitan.

On OS X Yosemite and Prior, How To Secure Empty Trash

If you're still using OS X Yosemite or before, you can simply secure empty trash on your Mac using built-in capabilities. All you have to do is follow the procedures outlined below, and everything else will be taken care of!

Drag files to the trash, then choose Finder. Additionally, select "Secure Empty Trash" from the drop-down menu. This will automatically lock your Mac's empty trash. Also, keep in mind that securing empty trash takes a little longer than simply eliminating it.

Using Terminal, safely empty trash on OX El Capitan.

Since the function of safely emptying trash has been eliminated from this version onwards, you'll have to use terminal commands to do it. To do so, simply follow the procedures outlined below!

Activate the terminal.

srm -vspace is the command to use. Make sure you type space rather than enter.

Drag a file from your desktop to the terminal.

By doing so, you'll change your command, and then you'll click enter.

This will ensure that the deleted files are safely stored in the trash.

secure empty trash

Using data erasure software to erase Mac trash bin

If you want to permanently delete files on Mac and make the deleted files be unrecoverable, just try Mac data erasure software. Magoshare AweEraser for Mac offers certified data erasure algorithms to help in permanently erasing data on Mac or from external storage device. Download it here:

Data Eraser - AweEraser for Mac

Now follow the steps to securely empty trash bin on Mac:

Step 1. Download and install AweEraser for Mac, run it from Launchpad. Choose data erasure mode - Erase Free Space. This mode will wipe free disk space of your Mac and permanently erase all deleted/lost data on this Mac.

Step 2. Choose the Mac HDD or SSD, then click on Erase button.

Permanently erase data on Mac Studio

AweEraser for Mac will securely erase all deleted/lost data on the Mac. It will not erase the existing data on your Mac.