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Beware Leopard’s ‘Secure Empty Trash’

It doesn't seem to work. It's hung my system a few times. One of the posters on Apple's discussion forums says:

I'm having the same problem, and am surprised to see such a simple thing not working in a final release of OS X. Also, there doesn't seem to be any point to there being a Securely Delete Trash option in the Finder preferences. When selected, emptying the trash does not securely empty the trash, but just empties it, so why is it there??

At any rate, I've disabled the option for now…

Oh, and "Microsoft Sync" crashes with regularity when syncing.

11 Responses to "Beware Leopard’s ‘Secure Empty Trash’"

  1. so does
    srm -s

    works or not tht is what I use.

  2. I have trouble using the key combination for secure empty trash. I use command+option+shift+return and for some reason it says any number between 1000-6000 items being deleted. What does that mean?

  3. The problem seems to revolve around Time Machine!

    At least on my install of Leopard, I could not figure out why the Secure Delete would no longer work. It always stopped at about 4.

    I played awhile and figured out that if I shut off Time Machine and removed the FireWire drive from time Machine... Secure Delete worked just fine again.

    So, to me this would say that it's Time Machine behind the problem.

    Apple needs to focus on Time Machine to correct this issue.

    Just my opinion.

  4. Time machine did not really have anything to do with me. I simply restarted the computer again, and all of a sudden it started working again.

  5. Im having the same problem, hope they fix it soon. I thought security would be quite an important issue to get right first.

  6. secure delete doesn't work at all.. and also erasing free space with a higher security option doesn't work at all. i dunno if u guys are working with an original OS and if what cpus u got. also i cannot find the beloved apple effects (like reverb, compressor, delay aso..)
    on leopard anymore. and apart from that i cannot get ableton live to run...
    so if anyone has any real clue about that i would be very happy...

    i have leopard on a pb g4 1ghz and on a macmini g4 1,5 ghz installed... on the g4 i use tiger 10.4.11 as a second OS... and mainly because of the issue with effects of apple i am thinking of downgrading to tiger again.. i really need a fully working OS... and yeah its piracy... i was thinking of buying it when i am sure everything runs just fine what it simply doesn't... i don't use timemachine on the macmini but on the pb and i have the same issues on both...

  7. For me, If I use OnyX to securely delete the trash first, apples secure delete works again until I restart. Then it stops working again and just hangs

  8. I'm glad I found this blog. I actually Googled 'secure empty trash and time machine' to arrive at this page, and my suspicions are correct: I'm not the only dude that holds the "Time Machine / Secure Emtpy Trash / Why in the world is my macbook "deleting" like 350 items when I erased ONE file?"

    Anywho, I hope they catch on to it quickly.

    Let me say that I like Time Machine. I would just note that when I choose "Empty Trash", the number of files that are being deleted corresponds with the number of files ACTUALLY in the trash folder.

    Strangely enough, if "Secure" emptying is necessary, why is it that I can't "securelyl delete" after I "simply delete" ? It seems like the simple "Empty Trash" feature simply, well, deletes!!!

    Thanks for the input, folks. Happy mac-usage!!!


  9. Most files even apps on mac are like folders, when you right click and select show package contents there's tons more files in there.

    So when the secure delete deletes it gets rid of every file inside it.

    Hope this helps...

  10. 😡 It works but it takes a whole lotta time. I just want to know where iphoto is hiding all the pictures I erased and still hang around after a reinstall of the OS?! Some deep dark curve of my hard drive
    iGuess. When I put something to get thrown away in the trash it should be destroyed the first time. That is why I have Time Capsule as a back up! I am planning on selling my MacBook and don't want the next Sh'mo reviving my file from the dead!

  11. Larry,

    iPhoto hides your deleted pictures in its own trash of sorts. When you open it, you can see the "Trash" folder in the left pane.

    Sadly, I didn't understand this and erased some really memorable pictures of surfing in Mexico. I've learned some things on mac the hard way but I don't regret it. As long as I don't get amnesia, I still have the memories.

    Hope it helps. You can erase the iPhoto pictures permanently by erasing the trash VIA iPhoto.