how to remove a boot.efi file from Trash

Click on the Trash can on the Dock, hold down the ‘option’ key and click the ‘Empty’ button over there on the left side of the window. If this doesn’t do it, the file may be in the .Trash folder of your Time Machine (TM) or some other disk.

To find out if that’s so, follow this procedure:
1. Open, copy and paste the following command into the Terminal window
defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE; killall Finder
Then press ‘Return’.
2. Open a Finder window. Navigate to the TM disk starting from its icon in  the left hand column. You should see some greyed out folders called .Trash and .Trashes. Click on these and have a look for the boot.efi file that we’re hunting down.
To remove the boot.efi file from the hidden trash, try the following:
3. Go back to Terminal and copy and paste the following:
sudo rm -rf
Do NOT press ‘Return’. Instead, press the Spacebar once, then use your cursor to drag the boot.efi file from the hidden folder in Step 2 and drop it in the Terminal window. Now press ‘Return’. You will be asked for an administrator password and given a warning which you can ignore. Type in your password, but notice that your typing will be invisible, so type carefully.

Press ‘Return’.
4. If you typed your password incorrectly, repeat step 3. If you typed it correctly, hopefully, your Trash is empty. 🙂
5. The last thing is to hide all the hidden files again, so copy and paste this:
defaults write AppleShowAllFiles FALSE; killall Finder
Then press ‘Return’.
You can close Terminal now.
Good luck!


About philastokes

Independent Software Developer, Technical Writer and Researcher at SentinelOne. Explaining the unexplainable with images, video and text. Scripting anything imaginable in AppleScript, Bash, Python and Swift.

Posted on February 10, 2012, in Time Machine, Trash and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Many Thanks. Like the rest of the people on here, this has really been getting on my nerves, but thanks to your help my trash bin is now empty.

  2. yeeeeeesssssssss finally it dissapeared!!!!

  3. Thank you very much. Wish you a Merry Christmas.

  4. Phil, I’ve tried everything here but nothing works and though .Trashes is empty (. ..) the boot.efi file and it’s five enclosing subfolders are still in my trash. This started when I manually deleted about six months worth of old TM backups and when I emptied the Trash, about 100,000 files were deleted…except for this one. Thanks for any other suggestions you may have.

    • If Terminal says your trash is empty – it’s empty! So there’s two possible things I can think of. First, you emptied /.Trashes but not ~/.Trash. Second, the Dock is playing up. To clear the former, just put the following command in Terminal

      sudo rm -rf ~/.Trash

      To test the latter, try typing this in Terminal and seeing if the Trash icon shows itself as empty afterwards:

      killall Dock

      then press ‘return’ on the keyboard.

      Let me know how you get on.

      • Thanks, Phil. That probably would have done it, but in the interim I installed a free app (Trash It) that worked beautifully. Just run the program, log out…then back in, and the trash can is empty. Thanks for your answer, though.

  5. Phil…nothing listed here has worked for me…any other suggestions? I manually deleted a bunch of old TM backups but still kept about six months worth. I then emptied my trash and about 100,000 files were deleted except for the dreaded boot.efi file and five enclosing subfolders.

    When I use the “cd /.Trashes; sudo ls -a” I get the “. ..” indicating my .Trashes folder is empty, but yet the file remains in my Trash Bin. This one is driving me crazy.

  6. Thanks Phil! But the thing is, I cannot open my .Trashes folder and look through it… Is there a way to?

    • Yes, in Mountain Lion and Lion (I think) .Trashes has been moved to the root directory. The safest way to look in here is through Terminal. To do that, open Terminal and then copy and paste this

      cd /.Trashes; sudo ls -a

      and press ‘return’. You’ll be asked for an Admin password, which will be invisble when you type it.

      After you’ve successfully entered the password, you’ll get a list of the files. If all you see is this:

      . ..

      (in other words, one dot, a space and then two dots), then the .Trashes directory is empty. Otherwise, you’ll get a list of files in there.

  7. THANK YOU PHIL! I’ve been at it for over two hours now and nothing has worked until I stumbled onto your page. Just upgraded to ML today from SL, and needed to destroy some Time Machine backup data from many months ago, off of my external firewire drive. What a relief!

  8. Thanks so much!!! Drove me crazy…

  9. Wow! I’ve been searching and searching for how to do this. Thank you so, so much. This just got rid of a small annoyance, and now I can enjoy a nice empty trash can again.

  10. Incredible, Thanks! The files were in my time machine, but the option key trick removed them at once 🙂

  11. Awsome ! thanks a lot .. Im using Time Machine and somehow it wouldn’t removed the boot.efi file away from my trash ..these steps really helped ..

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