View Full Version : Trash Repeat

Georgina EG
28th October 2005, 07:59 AM
Since last weekend I've been suffering a Groundhog Day with my Trash. I keep finding the basket full even though I empty it, and each time when I click on to discover the content, it comes up with a window for Recovered Files.

I then drag the icon out to open up see what it is, and every time it is the same thing, a small window with a drawer picture on the left, plus rotate left and rotate right signs, and nothing else.

Despite the item being out of Trash, the Trash basket still reads full, and if I click onto it again, up comes the same Recovered Files window with the same icon.

Again I trash the file, and again I empty Trash, and although the basket shows empty, it fills up again later in the day or the next day, and always with the same Recovered Files window and with the same item.

How do I stop this time warp, call in Dr Who?

Georgina EG
1st November 2005, 08:36 AM
Please, does no one have any idea why this is happening?

Last night I emptied the Trash before going to bed, yet this morning the basket contained yet another Recovered Files item, exactly the same as all the ones before. I drag it out to check, and then put it back in the Trash basket, and empty it again.

What is so pertinent about Recovered Files that this item keeps coming back?

Georgina EG
1st November 2005, 09:07 AM
Is this the reason for my Groundhog Day?

I see that I have a Preview icon in my Dock, but nothing opens up when I click onto it. I therefore checked in Applications and found the same icon, and that also refused to open up.

Is this what has to be dragged to the Trash?

Incidentally, I also have a JView icon in Applications, and that refuses to open up into anything.

Georgina EG
1st November 2005, 02:34 PM
With no advice being given, I've taken my persistent Recovered Files Preview out of Applications and put it in Trash. I just hope that the application isn't something important I need to keep.

I would still apprciate some advice before I empty the basket.

1st November 2005, 02:45 PM
Georgina, what is the name of the icon in the trash?

Is it a document, an alias or an application?
Documents have the 1st type of icon, but applications and alias' are harder to spot. If it has a small arrow, it is a alias.

If it is an Application, do not delete it. Otherwise, feel free to empty the trash, providing you don't want the document.

1st November 2005, 03:30 PM
I'm also getting this problem and have no idea how to fix it! Every time my computer is restarted, I get another folder in the trash called "recovered files". I don't know how to stop it!

Georgina EG
1st November 2005, 06:51 PM
Matt, at the moment there is no icon in the Trash, I dragged out the Preview (like the one on the right of your three), and just in case it should not be deleted, I've put it back into Applications. I also have one in the Dock, but neither of them open up to anything.

With the Recovered Files thing which is so annoying, it would appear that wheels8989 is suffering the same problem, and my first post details what the small dark window looks like, something to do with a photograph preview, except that there's no photograph.

I've an idea it's connected with something you were using as an example to show me recently, but apart from it continually reappearing in the Trash after it's been emptied, it doesn't do anything else.

1st November 2005, 08:07 PM
I had this happening for a while too. If I remember correctly, the files inside the 'recovered files' folder had a .png extension. It has stopped happening and I have not seen these files for some time. I thought it may be something to do with Dashboard, perhaps dumping temporary files or something, but I never really investigated it. I have hardly used Dashboard recently so I will begin using it again with the old widgets I had to see if I can re-create the problem.

1st November 2005, 08:11 PM

Here's the screenshot of this continual "recovered files" folder! Its slightly different to yours Georgina but they are always coming back as soon as I restart along with other random files in other folders such as "recovered files #2" etc!


1st November 2005, 08:19 PM
Yes, those files in the above picture were just like the ones I was getting.

1st November 2005, 08:19 PM
When I had problems with Preview not opening, I trashed it's preferences and that did the trick. However, I didn't ever had those Recovered Files problems, nor am I using Tiger.



Georgina EG
1st November 2005, 09:15 PM
Fascinating wheels8989, my Recovered Files in the Trash folder have similar numbers, the first line beginning with 41a and 20051 at the end! The second line concludes with png.

I'm puzzled Midnightman why you think it might be connected with Dashboard, but nothing would surprise me when an emptied Trash basket keeps refilling by itself.

1st November 2005, 10:16 PM
That is fascinating! Hmm maybe we have the same program on our computers that is causing this! I'll check through my dashboard for widgets that have that green bar in them! I've been meaning to start a thread here about this problem but I had kept on forgetting!

Georgina EG
1st November 2005, 10:43 PM
I don't get the bars, something else with the two lines of numbers. I've emptied the basket so can't check, but no doubt the thing will turn up again.

Georgina EG
2nd November 2005, 04:33 AM
Surely there has to be an answer?

I was right about the item returning, for despite the Trash being emptied, the Recovered Files thing has turned up again, so now I can tell you that it looks like the document icon on the left of Disko's examples. Curiously, while the top row of numbers remains the same, the second row is completely different.

We are not alone with the problem, I've googled and come up with the following link:-


Someone in las Vegas wrote on 20th October 2005:-

Any program that uses the invisible "/Temporary Items" folder in OS X and doesn't remove the files when quit will cause the "Recovered Files" folder in the Trash on start up. OS X renames and moves it to the Trash on start up.

I've typed in Spotlight for the Temporary Items folder but with no luck.

I've further looked in an old "Macs for Dummies" and it says that usually when you finish a programme and quit, it erases everything and it's put into the Temporary Items folder. But if your system crashes, it never gets a chance to empty, thus when you restart the system, it creates a new Rescued Items folder in the Trash and moves the file there.

I'm not aware that my Mac has crashed unless it took offence when Disko removed the Epson printer stuff for me recently, so the question remains, how do we rectify the problem?

2nd November 2005, 09:21 AM
It seems like Preview's not working properly? This is probably the program that's not quitting properly, and hence not deleting those items either.

METHOD 1:This line of code in terminal will remove Preview's preferances:
rm ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Preview.plist

METHOD 2:Navigate to your user folder -> Library -> Preferences
Locate and trash the file labelled com.apple.Preview.plist

That should hopefully make Preview work in the future.

Hope this helps.



2nd November 2005, 09:33 AM
Thanks for that - was having some minor trouble with preview - this helped.

Georgina EG
2nd November 2005, 11:12 AM
I've taken your advice petruk, hopefully it resolves the Trash mystery, if not perhaps there are some more of those things in Library Prefences I can trash? There are stacks there.

The Preview icon has gone from the Dock, but after checking the one in Applications, it reappeared again. Are they supposed to open up to anything, or only when there's a preview to hand?

I shall not be able to find out until later if the Recovered Files thing turns up again in Trash.

2nd November 2005, 01:29 PM
Nope nope nope...just delete that one! It doesn't really hold important information. The other preference files are for different programs and may hold important information!

Preview is an application for looking at picture files (.jpg, .gif, .png, etc). Does it open now without quitting instantly?

You can put it back on the dock (if you want it there) by opening up your applications and dragging the icon down onto the dock.

The first icon is Disko's list is a picture file. All your photos and pictures should have an icon similar to that. When you open up those picture files, it will open it up with the application called Preview in your Applications folder. That application has the 3rd icon is Disko's list.

Georgina EG
2nd November 2005, 02:46 PM
No petruk, nothing has changed, the Preview icons do absolutely nothing in either the Dock or in Applications.

I shall heed your advice and not trash anything else in Library Preferences, I'm not familiar enough with the system to know why it's all there.

2nd November 2005, 03:48 PM
Go to the Apple Menu -> About this Mac
What version of OS X are you using? I had problems with Preview in the past, but not with 10.3.9

If you&#39;re using 10.3.x where x<9, do a Software Update.



Georgina EG
2nd November 2005, 06:16 PM
Petruk, I&#39;m with Tiger 10.4.2, and I suppose have to look to 10.4.3 sometime. Apart from the things mentioned on this forum, it&#39;s running along smoothly compared with problems I experienced with Panther.

Georgina EG
2nd November 2005, 10:14 PM
Petruk what have you done to me?

Since dragging the Preview item out of Library Preferences which you suggested, I&#39;ve ended up with four items now in the Recovered Files in the Trash, the additional three being photographs taken at my mum&#39;s nursing home this afternoon for her 96th birthday.

They are also in iPhoto, so how on earth have copies ended up as Recovered Files in the Trash?

It also means that they will keep turning up in the Trash like the other item.

How can this ridiculous situation be stopped?

2nd November 2005, 10:21 PM
I&#39;m surprised no one has a fix for our trash problem&#33;&#33;

Georgina EG
2nd November 2005, 10:29 PM
Mine is getting worse wheels8989, it would seem from to-day&#39;s exercise that every photograph I take will end up as a Recovered File in the Trash . . . . for ever more&#33;

Edit. I&#39;m crossing my fingers and toes in the hope that the items which keep coming back, have now given up. I took the four items out of Recovered Files, trashed them again, trashed the orginal one which suddenly popped up on the desk top after I clicked one of the others, and clicked everything for permanent removal, and three times turned off and on again, and the basket remains empty&#33;

3rd November 2005, 09:14 AM
I&#39;m stumped...sounds like iPhoto is crashing as it quits...

edit: you could also try trashing iPhoto&#39;s preferences, but you&#39;ll lose any settings you&#39;ve changed compared to the Default settings

Georgina EG
3rd November 2005, 09:42 AM
Petruk, I fear you are right about iPhoto being the problem, but I&#39;m loathe to trash its preferences as you suggest because if something goes wrong, I shall not know how to correct it. I don&#39;t know what you mean by saying that I will lose any settings I&#39;ve changed compared to the Default settings.

Last night I thought I&#39;d resolved the problem, and this morning my Trash basket was empty, but after seeing your post I clicked onto iPhoto, dragged a shot onto Pages, clicked off both applications and switched the computer off.

I switched back on, and yes, the Trash basket was full again&#33;

Once more it is with Recovered Files, and dragging the item out to open it up, it is the same small window for Preview which came up.

I am sure that someone with more technical skills on AppleTalk must have the answer, it is as my first post mentions, I&#39;ve having Groundhog Day.

3rd November 2005, 10:18 AM
will reinstalling ilife 05 into your mac help? just a suggestion

Georgina EG
3rd November 2005, 11:03 AM
I don&#39;t know yellowmike2000, I&#39;m not skilled enough in the technicalities of it all, but from my experiment this morning, the problem does appear to be associated with an iPhoto preview which refuses to be deleted.

Edit add: Unfortunately it has created the situation that every time I use iPhoto, the application will come back as a Recovered File.

3rd November 2005, 11:23 AM
It does sound like iPhoto&#39;s crashing on quit so I would be trying to rebuild its database at this point I think - hold down the option key while you launch iPhoto. The process does a take a while if you have lots of pics &/or a slow machine.

As always, backup before doing anything like this. Simplest way is just to make a copy of your whole iPhoto Library (which is in your Pictures folder). I just drag mine to an external drive but you may not have this option. If you have a DVD burner, try burning it.

Good luck. :)

Georgina EG
3rd November 2005, 11:39 AM
soulman - I&#39;ve never copied anything so I&#39;m not familiar with the process, and I don&#39;t have a DVD burner, I have an iMac G4 combo. How is the data base rebuilt with this process, is it automatic?

And what exctly happens when you hold down the options key when launching iPhoto, are you saying that this could lose my photographs if they&#39;re not copied first?

3rd November 2005, 12:08 PM
Hi Georgina,

Copying is a synonym for duplicating - the Duplicate command is in the File menu in Finder. The simplest way to duplicate your iPhoto Library folder would probably be to select it in the Finder and go to File->Duplicate. What you should then have in your Pictures folder is a folder called "iPhoto Library" and one called "iPhoto Library copy".

The database rebuild is automatic. Holding the Option key while launching iPhoto tells it to do its rebuilding thing. I can&#39;t remember exactly but I think you will get a progress dialog while its happening or something like that.

Re losing your photos, it&#39;s possible that something could go wrong with the rebuild in the same way that it&#39;s its possible your hard drive might fail tomorrow - these things are rare but they do happen. I always just backup everything as matter of course before doing anything like a system software or application upgrade.

Hope this helps.

Georgina EG
3rd November 2005, 01:55 PM
I&#39;m sorry to be so dense soulman, but although I&#39;ve followed your instructions to duplicate my iPhoto library by clicking on Finder and then Library, there was no File Duplicate, and although I found the Pictures window, inside were three folders, and parts of two photographs (each the same)which Disko scanned when he was here recently, plus a scrap of a picture of some sort.

The Pictures window has a folder named iChat Icons, MP Navigator (whatever that is), and iPhoto Library.

If I click onto iPhoto Library it simply brings up my photographs with a smaller window saying that they are Unreadable Files.

There was nothing anywhere to indicate iPhoto Library Copy, I&#39;m going around in circles with it all.

3rd November 2005, 02:08 PM
1. Select the iPhoto Library folder
2. Go to the File menu -> Duplicate
3. This will make a folder called iPhoto Library Copy. This folder is your backup
4. Open up iPhoto whilst holding down the option key.

Georgina EG
3rd November 2005, 02:51 PM
Hello petruk, thank you for your input again, I&#39;ve clicked onto the iPhoto Library Folder and gone to File, but am unable to select duplicate, it isn&#39;t highlighted in the menu.

3rd November 2005, 04:42 PM
Don&#39;t go into the iPhoto Library Folder, just click it once to select it.



Georgina EG
3rd November 2005, 05:17 PM
Petruk - my nerves are shattered, I&#39;ve done what you suggested and then opened up iPhoto when holding down the Option key, but it became an elonged exercise which took me through various windows to click, and I&#39;ve no idea if the data base rebuild took place.

Thus I turned off the computer, switched it back on . . . and the Trash basket has the Recovered Files thing back again&#33;

Is the data base rebuild a quick process, and should I have had to go through various windows to bring up iPhoto while holding down the Option key? I think I&#39;ve chewed through to my elbow with it all.

3rd November 2005, 06:01 PM
I don&#39;t know about the rebuilding process, but judging by earlier posts, it should take quite a while.

But since your problem remains:

1) Go into iPhoto -> iPhoto Menu -> About iPhoto and tell us what version you&#39;re using
2) Go to Your User Folder -> Library -> Preferences and locate com.apple.iPhoto.plist
Drag it to your Desktop instead of trash this time, in case you need it in the future
3) Do your stuff... Launch iPhoto, Quit it, Empty trash, Restart your Mac, Launch iPhoto again, Quit it again...now are there files in your trash?
4) Please tell us the method you&#39;re using to "switch off" your Mac



Georgina EG
3rd November 2005, 06:33 PM
Petruk - According to my iPhoto menu I have iPhoto 5, Version 5.0.4, but I downloaded the recent update if that is any different.

I&#39;ve gone to my User Folder -> Library -> Preferences, but there is no com.apple.iPhoto.plist, so I haven&#39;t performed the rest of what you suggested.

I switch off my Mac by first clicking the left of the three buttons to delete the window, clicking the application name next to Apple and scrolling down to Quit, and then clicking on to Apple and scrolling to Shut Down. During the day when I&#39;m at home I use Sleep.

By the way, when I tried the data base rebuild earlier, there was no indication that any form of rebuild was taking place, I was just compelled to go through a convoluted window clicking process to bring up iPhoto, and that was it.

3rd November 2005, 07:21 PM
Double check about the plist file. I checked on my Mac, it&#39;s there (OS 10.3.9)

RE rebuilding the library, sorry, I don&#39;t know - never done it before.

Georgina EG
3rd November 2005, 10:09 PM
Well petruk, thank you, we seem to be getting somewhere at last.

I don&#39;t know where the plist file was hiding before, but I found it after watching television for a couple of hours and speaking with my sister overseas, and it is now on my desk top.

I followed your instructions except for the data base rebuild using the Option key (nothing seemed to happen previously), and I clicked on to iPhoto a couple of times and switched off, and also dragged a photograph onto a Page, and then deleted it, and switched off again and restarted.

And there&#39;s nothing in the Trash &#33;&#33;&#33; I just hope it stays this way.

The question now remains, what do I do with the com.apple.iPhoto.plist file which I now have on my desk top? It looks a little exposed hovering in the sky above a lake in Adelaide&#39;s Botanic Gardens (my full screen desk top photograph) if I need it again.

4th November 2005, 07:05 AM
If you don&#39;t notice anything different in iPhoto, and if it makes your problem go away, just trash trash the plist file.



Georgina EG
4th November 2005, 07:29 AM
My joy is premature, for after all I went through yesterday with the iPhoto exercises and clicking off etc, the Recovered Files thing is back in the Trash this morning&#33;

So why did it wait overnight to do this when it had every opportunity when I switched off several times during my testing?

I&#39;ve again carried out the suggestion about data base rebuild by opening iPhoto and holding the Options key, but all it did again was put me through various windows to open up the photographs, and nothing else happened.

I have now trashed the plist thing, emptied the basket and switched off, and then restarted. I then dragged a photograph out of iPhoto onto a Page, deleted it, exited the applications and switched off the computer and restarted, and the Trash is empty . . . at the moment.

Will it all come back again? Stay tuned&#33;

Edit: My posts on this topic are like the Recovered Files, they keep coming back&#33;

4th November 2005, 09:17 AM
Originally posted by Georgina EG@Nov 4 2005, 08:29 AM
I&#39;ve again carried out the suggestion about data base rebuild by opening iPhoto and holding the Options key, but all it did again was put me through various windows to open up the photographs, and nothing else happened...
I just tried the Option key at launch and the behaviour has changed - this now allows one to choose a different library - sorry about that.

To rebuild the iPhoto db, launch it while holding Command (Apple) + Option. You should get a dialogue box like the one in the screenshot below. If you are not going to be needing the computer for a while (an hour or so) I would suggest ticking all the boxes & letting it run its course.

Georgina EG
4th November 2005, 09:59 AM
Thanks soulman, I&#39;m glad it wasn&#39;t my incompetence which couldn&#39;t get the data base rebuild to work. I certainly appreciate the information I&#39;m being given, I shall try your advice.

Edit: Well I&#39;ve ticked all the boxes and done that, the subsequent process for Rebuilding Library taking about thirty seconds, the line shot across like a scalded cat. Obviously I don&#39;t have a large number of photographs.

I switched off the computer and switched back on, and the Trash remains empty. Time will tell if it stays that way.

4th November 2005, 10:58 AM
Glad it worked this time & hope it solves your problem. Sorry for the previous incorrect advice.

Now that you have done the rebuild you can delete your backup copy - the one that should be named "iPhoto Library copy" - once you&#39;ve ascertained that everything is working OK with the newly rebuilt version. Say in a few days.

Georgina EG
4th November 2005, 06:10 PM
Sorry folks, the exercise didn&#39;t work.

I used iPhoto this afternoon dragging a photograph onto a blank page in Page, switched off in the usual way to check if the problem had been resolved, but when I switched back on 45 minutes later, the previously empty Trash basket has the Recovered Files with the Preview yet again.

Any more suggestions?

For reference, the Pictures window now contains the following:-

Folder for iChat Icons
Folder for iPhoto Library
Folder for iPhoto Library Copy
Folder for MP Navigator

And the confusing ones:-

Part of a photograph named Scan 1.jpeg
The same part of the photograph named Scan 1.jpeg
A tiny photograph upside down named img002.jpg

Disko handled these when he set up my new printer and tried the scanner 13 days ago, so could the problem be with these photographs not being deleted? I&#39;ve dragged them out to the desk top, should they be trashed, or do they have an importance which I&#39;m not aware?

5th November 2005, 06:37 PM

I have noticed that this problem is occurring on my machine as well. Funnily enough, it has only started happening since you started this post&#33; cue spooky music...

They are almost the same files as shown in this thread .png and green bars.

I&#39;ve tried logging in and out with various programs open but haven&#39;t been able to isolate the culprit. It&#39;s only happening on my login. I&#39;ve also tried spotlighting any png files modified on my machine today - and nothing.

It&#39;s definitely not iPhoto on my machine as I havent used it for quite some time. I also don&#39;t think it&#39;s Preview (at least on my machine).

I&#39;ll let you know if I get anywhere - but in the meantime know you are not alone&#33;

I&#39;m sure it&#39;s harmless, but it sure is annoying.

Georgina EG
5th November 2005, 11:32 PM
Hello macsyd, sorry to hear that you&#39;re afflicted as well since my topic began, I haven&#39;t any spooky music to add, perhaps we&#39;d better call in the X-Files team&#33; My problem started two weeks ago.

It is certainly irritating, and does appear to be associated with Preview for me, and every time I use iPhoto it happens. Does your file with the green bars and .png mention that it&#39;s Preview? It may also show the word Preview next to the Apple at the top left of the screen.

This evening I did a screen shot using Command + Shift + 3 and dragged the pdf onto a blank page in Pages, and for the exercise switched off rather than use Sleep. When I switched back on later, the Trash basket which I&#39;d emptied, was full again with the usual Recovered Files.

Edit to add: I emptied the Trash before I went to bed, switched off, and the basket is full again this morning&#33;

6th November 2005, 08:55 AM
macsyd, do you use Pages?

The Architect.mac
6th November 2005, 09:23 AM
Georgina EG

You mention switch off a lot.

I have only ever seen recovered files when an app crashes or a bad restart.

They are usually very unimportant (temp folders not closed properly on restarts etc)

Simply switching off your computer would give you this result everytime, so I hope you are using the Apple menu - restart or shutdown.

Did you run Disk Repair as well?


Georgina EG
6th November 2005, 10:37 AM
The Architect.mac, thank you for your input, I mention switching off because this is the only way I can check if the suggestions put forward are working. Otherwise when I&#39;m at home during the day I use Sleep.

I certainly go through the correct procedures for closing down, I exit the application using the left of the three buttons, I click the name of the application next to the Apple and scroll to Quit, and then scroll down from the Apple to Shut Down. You&#39;ve mentioned a bad start, how would that present itself?

I have been using this Shut Down procedure since I bought my iMac last year, and the irritation with Recovered Files persistently returning to Trash, didn&#39;t begin until two weeks ago.

I haven&#39;t personally run Disc Repair, how do I do it? I&#39;ve tried to find it but with no success, even Spotlight wasn&#39;t helpful. Disko was here two weeks ago so I don&#39;t know if he performed the task, but my Trash/Recovered Files/Preview problem wasn&#39;t known until after he left.

I have to rush now and get ready and go to my mum&#39;s nursing home for lunch at 12.00, so I can&#39;t respond to advice for a few hours.

The Architect.mac
6th November 2005, 10:49 AM
Ok thats good

Screenshots of how to run disk repair i have uploaded for you here (http://homepage.mac.com/ben.reed/PhotoAlbum9.html)

Hope that helps - its good maintenance anyway&#33;&#33;

edit - im pretty sure disko would be a pretty keen permissions repairer and keychain maintainer but as you say these things just pop up don&#39;t they&#33;

Georgina EG
6th November 2005, 03:55 PM
Thanks for the extra information, I had already reached the final stage by going through the same process, but didn&#39;t realise that I had to click onto the Mac HD in the window to bring up Repair Disk Permissions. Although I thought I&#39;d taken the wrong route and got lost, I just hadn&#39;t gone far enough&#33; All simple stuff when you know how.

I&#39;m apprehensive that it will fix the Recovered Files irritation, I&#39;m sure it&#39;s somewhow associated with Preview gone wrong.

Georgina EG
6th November 2005, 10:25 PM
The Recovered Files item which keep recurring in the Trash, is exactly the same as a Preview window which comes up when I click onto a picture in iChat Icons.

Just a thought in case there&#39;s a connection.

2nd December 2005, 03:44 PM

Any luck getting to the bottom of this?

I&#39;ve pretty much just given up and accepted it&#33; There doesnt seem to be any pattern or logical explanation...even if I havent opened any apps, log out and log back in again, the files are there. :(

Georgina EG
2nd December 2005, 04:37 PM
Macsyd . . . no luck whatsoever, the Trash basket keeps filling up, and I keep emptying it, I wish my bank account worked the same way, now that would be fun&#33;

I&#39;ve even taken the item out of Trash and put it on the desktop and changed its name to another folder, and then put it in Documents to see if I could confuse the wretched thing, but all it did was double the process . . . . :blink:

I was hoping that downloading 10.4.3 a couple of days would sort it out, but no.

2nd December 2005, 10:11 PM
Oh well, Georgina, maybe I can write an applescript or something that empties our trash cans automatically&#33;

I&#39;ve been looking for an excuse to learn something beyond clicking a few buttons (although I bought the mac so I wouldn&#39;t have to do anything but click a few buttons ;) )

Grrrrr....so frustrating&#33;

Georgina EG
2nd December 2005, 10:59 PM
I don&#39;t think you would want an automatic Trash emptier, one day you may put something there you want to take out again. Just write a programme to get rid of Previews which keep appearing as recovered files in the Trash after I use iPhoto&#33;