How To Set Your Mac to Automatically Remove Items From the Trash Every 30 Days

Posted in How To, Mac on 29/03/2017 by Chris Hauk


If you’re like me, you regularly forget to empty the trash. No, not the can in the kitchen, although I forget that sometimes too. I mean the Mac Trash bin.

Even though you’ve dutifully dragged your files to the Trash, they still take up precious hard drive space. Luckily, macOS now offers a handy feature that, if enabled, automatically empties items from your Mac Trash every 30 days.

It should be noted that this feature is only available for macOS Sierra 10.12 or higher. This will NOT work in earlier versions of the Mac operating system, so you’ll just have to keep emptying the can yourself. Or, you can get your lazy roommate to do it. Totally your call.

How to Tell Your Mac to Empty it’s Own Darn Trash

1.) From your Mac’s Desktop, click the “Finder” menu, and then click “Preferences.”

How To Set Your Mac to Automatically Remove Items From the Trash Every 30 Days

2.) Click the “Advanced” tab in the Finder Preferences window.

How To Set Your Mac to Automatically Remove Items From the Trash Every 30 Days

3.) On the “Advanced” tab, find the check box labeled: “Remove items from the Trash after 30 days.” Click it to place a check in the box, and enable the option.

4.) Close the Finder Preferences window.

That’s all it takes. Now if you dump files into the macOS trash and forget to dump those nasty things, (I’ve seen what you download), each file will delete itself after 30 days. Everything in the Trash won’t empty all at once; just when a file has been in the Trash for 30 days, it will empty itself. So, file-by-file. Got it?

If you just can’t wait, you can also empty the Trash manually like you always have, by right-clicking the Trash and clicking “Empty Trash.” (Or, you can click on “Open” and do a little dumpster diving. You’ve got options.)

For more tips and tricks on how to make better use of your Mac, iOS device, Apple Watch, or Apple TV, be sure to visit the “How To” section of our website.

(Thanks to OSXDaily for the original trashy tip.)


Chris Hauk

MacTrast Senior Editor, and self-described "magnificent bastard," Chris Hauk owns Phoenix Rising Services and writes for everyone's favorite "bad movie" website, Big Bad Drive-In.

His first Apple product was an iPod Classic 9 years ago, and he has since added a MacBook Pro, a number of iPads, iPhones, and multiple Apple TVs to his collection.

He lives somewhere in the deep Southern part of America. Yes, he has to pump in both sunshine and the Internet.