How to Securely Empty the Trash in MacOS X

Zach Zach (248)
1 minute

Note: this guide will not work for current versions of macOS. Please see our new guide on how to securely empty trash in macOS for an updated version.

This guide explains how to securely empty your Mac's trash can. This function overwrites the old data on your hard drive with a bunch of 0s, making it harder to recover.

Mac OS X×1

Howchoo is reader-supported. As an Amazon Associate, we may earn a small affiliate commission at no cost to you when you buy through our links.

To securely empty the trash

Hold down CMD-SHIFT and right-click the trash can icon. You will now see the Securely Empty Trash option appear.

Make sure you do this second step when emptying your trash in macOS.
Zach Zach (248)

The default empty trash function in macOS isn't very secure.