My Trash bin is not opening. It just shows the "loading" mouse cursor forever. Any idea what can be wrong?

--update (after the answer) After emptying the trash solved also a problem that used to occur when I remove the pendrive, saying that "computer:/// could not be localized" or something like this..


Three possibilities come to mind, I'll start with the easier first:

  1. There is a huge number of files in the trash which is blowing some limitation in nautilus or memory.
  2. There is a file in the trash that is causing its respective thumbnail generator to hang
  3. There is a hard error on your disk which is being used by something in the trash

There are multiple approaches to clearing the problem:

  • install package trash-cli which gives you command line programs such as list-trash and empty-trash, these are most likely "safest" in terms of keeping your trash can in proper form.
  • the trash-can is just a couple of directories under $HOME/.local/share/Trash which can be inspected and manipulated with ls and rm from the command line
  • look at /var/log/kern.log and /var/log/syslog for complaints about hard errors on your harddrive.
  • "There is a huge number of files in the trash" was a good point. Trying to empty it openned thousands of windows (why? I don't know), and after killing all it is back to normal (looks like). – The Student Nov 18 '10 at 18:07

Honestly, no idea.

You might have more success by loading it through a terminal. Most applications are quite vocal about their crashes and failures but nautilus is comparatively silent. Perhaps running it like this killall nautilus && nautilus trash:/// might show you the problem.

You can forcibly delete everything in trash with this (but remember it will delete everything in there):

rm -rf ~/.local/share/Trash/*

If you want to rescue something from the trash, I suggest you browse it and pluck out what you need. You can do this from the terminal and you should also be able to do it via nautilus.

If you find the precise problem, or it persists, make sure you file a bug (ubuntu-bug nautilus)


I had the same problem and it solved deleting the nautilus hidden directory at user's home. Before deleting, you can rename it to see if the problem solve

mv .nautilus/ .nautilusx

I had more than 20.000 items (files or folders) in the trash, leading to the same problem

First I copied a file I wanted to restore from ~/.local/share/Trash/files/ using Dolphin or Thunar (nautilus and nemo failed) into the place where I want it to be restored.

I installed

sudo apt install trash-cli

then you can plot all files into trashList.txt using:

trash-list >> trashList.txt

(Terminaloutput would be unusable, since trash contains too many files, therefore redirecting to trashList.txt)

If you want to delete files older than 366 days you can use

trash-empty 366

Alternatively you can install autotrash

pip install --user autotrash

and delete files older than 365 days:

autotrash -d 365

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