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MM Answers: How to delete a file that macOS says is in use?

Today one more tip from our column MM Answers!

The question of the day:

How to delete a file that macOS claims to be in use?

Move items to or empty Trash

Sometimes when trying to move a file to Trash or empty it, we come across a system alert message stating that the file is in use, preventing macOS from experiencing any problems due to this. There are alert levels and levels, and in some cases you may want to ignore them and actually delete one of these files.

Message - Application in Use in Finder

When you already have the items in the Trash:

  1. Open Finder
  2. Click Finder in the Menu bar;
  3. Press and hold the key (Option) and click on ?Empty Trash?.

    Empty trash

This will cause the system to ignore this alert for some simpler files and to empty the Trash.

If a file is in use by an application or system

When the file message in use cannot be overcome, we should follow this support article, which guides you through the following steps:

  1. Quit the application;
  2. Restart the Mac normally;
  3. Restart your Mac in Safe Mode (by pressing the (Shift);
  4. Start the Mac in Recovery Mode (R) and use Disk Utility to repair the HDD / SSD.

Did you solve your problem deleting a file? Leave your doubts or suggestions in the comments! ?

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