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Trash Bin – What Takes Place When Emptied – Where Does the Trash Go?

When I delete a file, a folder, or any other info I do not want or need – I take or transfer it to the trash bin. When I delete a lot of “stuff” and place stuff in the trash bin, where does it go from there? Is there a place on my computer like a black hole that all trash goes to, never to be seen again? Just curious as to what actually happens (the process and the final resting place for trash) when the trash bin is being emptied – where does the “stuff” go?


Comments: 2 Responses to “Trash Bin – What Takes Place When Emptied – Where Does the Trash Go?”

    2 years ago

    Files are bits of data, zeros and ones, in your Mac’s storage, your hard drive or solid state drive. Every bit is a zero or a one regardless of whether you are using it or not. If you have a billion bits on your drive you have a billion bits whether you are using all of it, half of it, or 10% of it. It is just if you are using half of it than half those bits have meaningful zeroes and ones on them (your files) and the other half are not being used. Whether they are zeros or ones doesn’t matter.

    When you put a file in the trash, it isn’t deleted at all. It is just in a folder called Trash. But this folder has a special property in that you can “empty” it to delete those files.

    When you delete those files, the bit are no longer associated with a file at all. They are returned to a list if bits that are considered empty. They can now be reused to store data from other files as needed.

    So the “black hole” thing doesn’t really work as a metaphor. The bits don’t go anywhere. They don’t move. At one point a set of bits is in a list as representing a file. Then when that file is deleted the item in the list is crossed out and those bits can be used as part of another file in the future.

    Maybe it would help to think of the file as being “erased” like in a whiteboard. The space on the whiteboard is always there. Sometimes you have words on it. Sometimes you erase the words to make room for new words.

    Peter. W
    2 years ago

    What a fantastic “simple “ answer to a mystifying question that a simpleton like me can completely understand thank peter Australia

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