The ubuntu trash bin won't empty

Written by sarah silverman
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The ubuntu trash bin won't empty
Learn how to fix a stuck trash bin in Ubuntu. (computer image by blaine stiger from

Ubuntu is an open source operating system based on Linux. Many Ubuntu users prefer this particular Linux distribution because there are many active online user forums. Additionally, there is a GUI (graphical user interface) that's very easy for non-techies to use. However, you might still come across some minor bugs such as your trash bin not emptying. This bug will not damage your system, but you still mind find it bothersome. The only way to temporarily fix this permission-based bug is to open the terminal window and use a text command.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Boot your computer and login to your Ubuntu administrator account. This will ensure that you'll be able to implement the commands to empty your trash bin.

  2. 2

    Wait for your desktop to load and navigate to the terminal window. You can get there by clicking on "Applications," "Accessories," and then "Terminal."

  3. 3

    At the terminal prompt, type the following line, then press Enter on your keyboard:

    sudo rm -fr /home/USERNAME/.local/share/Trash/

    Be sure to replace USERNAME with your actual username.

  4. 4

    Close the terminal window by typing exit and pressing enter on the keyboard. Alternatively, you can click the X on the upper right hand corner of the terminal window.

  5. 5

    Wait for your trash bin to fill up again and repeat this procedure as needed if you can't empty your trash bin through the GUI.

Tips and warnings

  • If you delete personal or confidential files, be sure to run this terminal command immediately so you don't forget to empty the trash at a later time.
  • As updates become available, this Linux bug might be fixed, so try to empty your trash bin through the GUI after your next system update.
  • If you're not familiar with terminal commands, don't play around with this part of Ubuntu while signed in as the administrator. You can do permanent damage to your Linux system if you enter the wrong commands.
  • Make sure you don't need the files in your trash bin. Deleting files from the trash bin is permanent.

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