Q&A: Please may I Trash this?

Q When I drop something into the Trash, I am asked for my password; when I authenticate with it, the item is deleted straight away and does not sit in the Trash. How can I restore normal function?

A Before going any further, ask yourself and check whether you have installed any Trash or housekeeping utility, even a demo version, which might be doing this. If you have, you will need to remove that and see whether this fixes the problem. If you do not remove such products, no matter what you do next, the chances are that that product will sneak back and revert to this troublesome behaviour.

Moving some items, from /Library, /Applications/Utilities, and even /Applications itself, can require you to authenticate, but trashing your own files from your ~/Documents folder should not. Your next step then is to open Disk Utility and repair permissions.

Comments Assuming that this is just a permissions problem, and repairing permissions does not help, you can correct it manually.

First select your named Home folder, and check its permissions using the Finder’s Get Info command in the File menu. This should be set to your user name as owner (Me) with read + write, staff as the group and read only, and everyone read only.

Then, using a tool such as TinkerTool, make all files and folders visible, and restart the Finder. Locate the folder named .Trash as the top level of your Home folder, and see it is also owned by you, and that you have read + write permissions to it. Once these have been corrected, return Finder visibility to normal, and restart.

Updated from the original, which was first published in MacUser volume 30 issue 08, 2014.