C-Command Software Forum

Unable to empty old com.apple.mail folder from trash

After I “upgraded” to Catalina, I had to rebuilt my Apple Mail mailboxes due to problems in early versions of Catalina. The folder "com.apple.mail’ got stuck in my Trash folder, and I haven’t been able to delete it despite trying various solutions beyond “Empty Trash”. The top folder contains a “Data” folder and in that is a file, “DataVaults.” It has 0 bytes, as does the “apple.mail.com” folder. The folders are not “read only”. When I try to empty, I get a message saying the folder “Data” is in use, but the folders & the DataVaults file have not been modified for a year. Any suggestions for removing this stuck- in-the-Twilight-Zone trash?

The DataVaults folder is protected by System Integrity Permission. To delete it, you would need to first temporarily turn off SIP. This is described in the “Delete the DataVaults Folder” instructions here.

Thanks, but the problem isn’t the current DataVaults folder. It’s taht I have a folder stuck in Trash that I can’t delete - the com.apple.mail folder. Inside that is the folder com.apple.mail/data, and when I’m trying to empty the trash, an error message pops up saying that Trash/com.apple.mail/data is supposedly in use – even though it has no, in fact been modified for over a year. When I inspect the folder, I sometimes see a file – not a folder – Trash/com.apple.mail/data/DataVaults.

And idea how to empty these bits of rubble from the rebuild I did of my mailboxes a year ago?

What I meant is that if you follow the instructions linked above to turn off SIP, that should allow you to empty the trash that contains the protected file/folder (which macOS reports as in use), and then you could turn SIP back on.

Yes! That worked – thanks very much.