Fix for Item can’t be moved to Trash because…
Deleting files on a Mac is one if the simplest tasks, or one would assume. Ever so often the error “Item can’t be moved to Trash because item can’t be deleted” shows up when attempting to move a file to the trash can.
The reason behind the message is that the file to be deleted is in use and the holding application won’t release it for moving. The easiest fix is to find out which application is holding the files locked and close it. If that doesn’t resolve the issue, you may have to force quit the app.
- Click on the apple icon on the top, left of your screen
- Select “force quit”
- Highlight the application and click force quit
Once the app has closed, you should be able to delete the stubborn file.
In rare cases, the issue is Finder related. Restarting Finder should resolve the problem. Right click the finder icon from the dock, while holding the option key gives a menu item called “relaunch”. Hitting this will relaunch Finder and hopefully remedy the issue.
Keep in mind that some files behave stubbornly on purpose. Such are system files that are protected for good reason and should not be deleted.