How to Automatically Delete Trash in Ubuntu Linux

This post describes steps you can take to automatically delete trash content in Ubuntu Linux.

When you want to free up more space on your computer’s hard drive or improve its performance, you may have to clear out your trash and delete unwanted temporary files.

Users are able to manually empty their trash and remove temporary unnecessary files, but they can also set Ubuntu Linux to automatically do this for them.

Temporary files are not meant to be kept indefinitely on your computer. They are created by applications to increase performance by providing a copy of data that was downloaded or computed.

They should regularly be removed from your computer.

Below is how to set up Ubuntu Linux to automatically delete trash content and temporary files.

How to automatically delete temporary files in Ubuntu Linux

As described above, when you want to free up space in Ubuntu Linux, you can empty your trash and remove unwanted temporary files.

You can do that manually or set up Ubuntu Linux to automatically do it for you. Below is how to configure Ubuntu Linux to automatically empty trash and remove unneeded files.

Ubuntu Linux has a centralized location for majority of its settings. From system configurations to creating new users and updating, all can be done from the System Settings panel.

Alternatively, click on the System menu at the top-right corner of the top bar on your desktop.

On the System menu, select Settings as highlighted below.

In the Settings app, click on Privacy tile to open the panel.

In the System Settings -> Privacy settings panel, under File History & Trash to open the panel.

Then switch On or Off one or both of Automatically Delete Trash Content or Automatically Delete Temporary Files.

Set how often you would like your Trash and Temporary Files to be purged by changing the Automatically Delete Period value.

The value can be an hour to up to 30 day.

From the screen panel window, you can choose to immediately empty trash and delete temporary files.

That should do it! You can now close the Settings app.


This post showed you how to set up Ubuntu Linux to automatically delete temporary files and trash content. If you find any error above or have something to add, please use the comment form below to report.