At some point in your life, you decided that it was a good day to clean up your hard drives and delete things that appeared to be no longer of use. Among the things that ended up in your trash, you killed an apparently innocuous folder named Backupdb.backup. And if you are like me, after I see the trashcan icon full with crap, I want to empty it.
That’s when your nightmare of “why it’s not emptying my trash” starts, continuing with terminal attempts via sudo commands, ending with Google searches as acts of desperation. And when even those don’t work and OnyX and Maintenance failed you, you are about to do this:
And then the light, that moment of clarity that brings you back that joy for getting it done and unfortunately never the time spent to get there. Here my steps for the final cure. You are welcome.
As soon as you hear the booting chime, hold CMD + R for a few seconds. Don’t be quick to dismiss the holding of this combo, particularly if you have a non-Apple Bluetooth keyboard as the lag might affect you.
You will be entering recovery mode. From the upper menu, choose Utilities and then Terminal
In a terminal, type csrutil disable
then rm -rf /Volumes/<your-hardrive-name>/Users/<your-user-name>/.Trash/Backupdb.backup
csrutil enable; reboot
If you don’t know how to find your user name or your volume’s name, you should probably not even be in that screen :-)
For the curious out there, csrutil turns on/off a system protection for system files and backups are considered as such. On step 6 make sure that there’s a space after the semicolon otherwise you will get an error.
Enjoy trash freedom, for a while.