fixed : how to delete undeletable files

Question :

I have recently cleaned up my Mac by putting a lot of old and unused files into the Trash (after backing them up to an external hard drive). But now, when I try to empty the Trash, some files remain, they seem undeletable… I even get a warning I can’t delete them… even a Forced Empty-ing of the Trash doesn’t work… but I’m completely sure I want to get rid of these files…

Isn’t there any way to delete them ?

Answer :

Yes – there is.

These ‘undeletable’ files are so-called “system immutable”, which basically means they cannot be changed or deleted even by the Root (super user) in the Terminal. Even switching to “Single User” mode and attempting to remove them won’t work.

Here’s what to do :

– restart your Mac in “Safe Boot” mode (press the SHIFT-key during startup ; as soon as you notice it takes a lot longer to boot than usual, you can take your finger of the keyboard, but even then it may take some time for you Mac to completely startup, so be patient…)

– now, log in as an administrator (i.e. using the/an account that has Administrator-rights)

– then, empty the Trash…

…that’s it. Done !

Thanks to SpiderJay for sharing this solution (he also found this solution somewhere on the internet), he originally posted it on his blog :

…but that link doesn’t work anymore, that’s why I’ve now posted it here 


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