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How to Automatically Empty Your Trash on a Mac

Apple Logo Hero - July 2020

Since macOS 10.12 Sierra, Apple has included a way to automatically empty your Trash every 30 days, which can free up disk space and reduce mental clutter. Enabling it is easy, but the option takes some digging to find. Here’s the quickest way to turn it on.

First, switch to “Finder” by clicking on the Mac desktop. In the menu bar at the top of the screen, click the “Finder” menu, and select “Preferences.”

Click Finder > Preferences from the menu bar on Mac

In the “Finder Preferences” window that pops up, click the “Advanced” button.

Click Advanced button in Finder Preferences in macOS

In the “Advanced” options, locate the option that says “Remove items from the Trash after 30 days” and check the box beside it.

Check Remove items from the Trash after 30 days in Finder Preferences on Mac

Once set, macOS will automatically delete all the files in your Trash every 30 days. If you ever want to disable the option, visit Finder > Preferences again, and uncheck the “Remove items from the Trash after 30 days” box.

If you need other ideas about how to free up disk space on a Mac, you can try removing duplicate files, deleting cache files, or even using third-party utilities. Have fun cleaning up!

RELATED: 10 Ways To Free Up Disk Space on Your Mac Hard Drive

Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is a Staff Writer for How-To Geek. For over 14 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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