Ultimate guide to fix “The item can’t be moved to the Trash because some of its plugins are in use” error

Errors while working on your Mac OS device can be quite inconvenient. For instance, you may encounter issues on your Mac OS device that you are unfamiliar with and cannot resolve. An example is the “The item can’t be moved to the Trash because some of its plugins are in use” error. This error confused many users as they did not know why the application would not be uninstalled. However, this blog will provide a few different solutions and how you can resolve the issue of “The item can’t be moved to the Trash because some of its plugins are in use.”

The first solution you can try is removing the plugin folder from the “Show package content” section. When you encounter this error, instead of deleting the whole application, try to delete the plugin folder rather than the app. Another solution is removing the item’s password-related credentials from your desktop keychain access section. These solutions will help you resolve the error of apps not being deleted.

Here are a few solutions you can try to resolve the “The item can’t be moved to the Trash because some of its plugins are in use” error on Mac OS devices. Both of these solutions will provide you with an effective path to resolve the issue. You can try both these solutions progressively to resolve the issue of items not moving to the trash folder on your Mac OS desktop. 

How to remove the plugin folder from the “Show package content” section on Mac

The first solution you can try is to remove the plugin folder from the app you are trying to delete. The issue revolves around plugins not being cleared before the item is deleted. You can use the solution provided here to resolve the issue of plugins not being removed when you are deleting an app item. You will then be able to remove the app folder when the plugin folder is deleted. Have a read-through of the full guide on removing the plugin folder from the “Show package contents” section on Mac OS devices.

  • Firstly, click on “Finder.”
  • From my “Favorites” section, click on “Application.” 
  • Right-click on the app you cannot delete. 
  • Now click on “Show package contents.” 
  • Open the “Contents” folder. 
  • Now move the “Plugins” folder into the bin. 
  • Open the bin and click on “Empty.” 
  • Now click on “Empty bin.” 
  • From there, click on applications. 
  • Right-click on the app and press “Move to the bin.” 
  • Finally, empty the bin to delete the application. 

You will now have resolved the issue of the item not being deleted because plugins are still running. You will have successfully removed the plugin folder on its own, which needs the application to function. Removing the plugin folder before you delete the application will allow you to clear the issue before the folder is deleted. Plugins will still run when the application is active. If you remove the plugin folder, the application will become dormant. You will then be able to clear the application without having the error show again. You must follow all the steps shown above to resolve the issue of the items not being deleted because of plugins. Have a read of the in-depth guide on how to resolve the issue of items not being deleted because of plugins.

The process on how to remove the plugin folder from the “Show package content” section on Mac [with screesnhots]

If you require help with the steps shown above, you can use the in-depth guide to help resolve the issue of apps not being deleted on Mac OS devices. The guide includes screenshots allowing you to navigate through the UI. You can also use the screenshots as visual context, which will allow you to understand the process. You can also use some of the in-depth contexts we have provided to help you go through the process and understand the steps better.

  • Firstly, click on “Finder.”
  • From my “Favorites” section, click on “Application.” 
  • Right-click on the app you cannot delete. 
  • Now click on “Show package contents.” 
  • Open the “Contents” folder. 
  • Now move the “Plugins” folder into the bin. 
  • Open the bin and click on “Empty.” 
  • Now click on “Empty bin.” 
  • From there, click on applications. 
  • Right-click on the app and press “Move to the bin.” 
  • Finally, empty the bin to delete the application. 

The issue of apps not being deleted on your Mac OS device because of plugins will be resolved when the steps above have been completed. The plugin folder needs to be deleted from the application before you proceed to delete the application itself. When the plugin folder is deleted from your device, you will not have an issue with deleting the application itself. This is primarily because the application is still active when the plugins are running for the app. The goal is to make the app inactive by removing the plugin folder. Once you have completed the steps above, the app will automatically be inactive. You will no longer have issues when trying to delete the application. The error will not show again when you proceed to delete the application. To get successful results, you need to make sure that all the steps that have been provided are completed before you proceed to delete the application. 

How to remove the items credentials from your desktop keychain access section

Another solution you can try is to remove credentials stored on your desktop for the application you are trying to delete. This solution mainly revolves around the key chain access on your device, which stores passwords for apps. Sometimes plugins will use credentials stored in the key chain access section and remain active. Removing the credentials from the key chain access section will disable the plugins required to use your passwords for the app. You will then be able to delete the application when the credentials are removed. Have a read-through of the steps to remove the credentials from your Mac OS device’s key chain access section.

  • Firstly, open “Finder.” 
  • Now click on “Applications” from the “Favourites” section. 
  • From there, open the “Utilities” folder. 
  • Now open the “Keychain Access” app. 
  • Now select the “Passwords” option. 
  • Right-click on the password that you need to remove. 
  • Now click on “Delete.” 

After completing the steps above, you will have removed the key chain access credentials for a specific application. You can also select multiple credentials from the password section if necessary and delete them all at once using the method above. Once you have cleared the credentials, you can use the process shown at the top to remove the plugins folder and then the application. Doing this will ensure the application is deleted without the error showing again. What the process above does is essentially remove the credentials from the desktop. Certain plugins like to use credentials stored on your device to automatically access the application making it easier to log in. Removing the credentials will disable these plugins and therefore allow you to complete the process of deleting the application. 

Conclusion

Thank you for reading our content on how to resolve the issue of apps not being deleted because plugins are still active. We have given you two solutions and how you can resolve the issue of apps not being deleted due to plugins still active on the program. If plugins are causing an issue where you cannot delete an application, you can use any of the methods shown above to delete the application. If there are any issues you come across when trying to complete the process, simply drop a comment below, and we will address those issues. 

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Saajid Gangat

Saajid Gangat has been a researcher and content writer at Business Tech Planet since 2021. Saajid is a tech-savvy writer with expertise in web and graphic design and has extensive knowledge of Microsoft 365, Adobe, Shopify, WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and more! You can connect with Saajid on Linkedin.

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