13 February 2012 ~ 16 Comments

Mac OS X Error Code -8072



So I picked up a new Western Digital My Book Live. Enjoying it, still learning how to use it. However I received an error message while using My Live Book.


Error Code -8072. I was prompted with -8072 while trying to delete a few files off the network drive. The reason for the error was not enough permissions. It’s odd that I don’t have enough permissions because I’m the one who uploaded the file to My Book Live originaly.

So here’s a way to get around Error Code -8072.



Open up Terminal and enter the following:

  • sudo rm -rf (then drag the file.folder you wish to delete into the Terminal window)
  • Press ENTER and the file should be deleted.


Hope this short quick post helps!


Please leave comments if this solution works for you.

16 Responses to “Mac OS X Error Code -8072”

  1. sabina 24 March 2012 at 11:16 pm Permalink

    Thank you for help!

  2. Brian 21 July 2012 at 11:34 pm Permalink

    Are you attaching as Guest, or a real user/password? I had this problem with a WinXP share that went away once I told Lion to connect as that XP system’s user:pw.

    With the MBL, I think it’s best to leave the Public share unused, and setup a private share for each user. Also Create common shares for topics that users want to share, such as Music. Shares are the primary unit of access control on the MBL, so you’ll have to make more if you need more combinations of users with read/write/none permission. OTOH, try to keep that pared down, as browsing a lot of shares is an ugly mess on most systems.

  3. Cristian 5 December 2012 at 3:08 am Permalink

    coool! thx! 🙂

  4. Odessa 16 April 2013 at 11:02 am Permalink


  5. Ana 22 April 2013 at 4:18 pm Permalink


  6. Stephanie 21 June 2013 at 2:06 pm Permalink

    Hi Sal, I tried entering the code and the file in Terminal but this comes up:

    usage: rm [-f | -i] [-dPRrvW] file …
    unlink file

    Could you possibly help me with this situation? Thank you!

    • Sal Ciampa 21 June 2013 at 3:16 pm Permalink

      Stephanie, thanks for your comment. If you wait until tomorrow morning, I’ll have a quick video posted on this topic. Cool?

      • Steven G. 18 July 2013 at 11:00 am Permalink

        Hi Sal, I am experiencing the same issue as Stephanie is facing. I can’t find the video you said you’d post on this, does it exist elsewhere? Thanks for any help you can provide!

        • Sal Ciampa 20 July 2013 at 9:00 am Permalink

          Hi Steven G. The video in posted in the article…it’s there with a YouTube ‘play’ arrow in the middle.

  7. kisung 30 September 2013 at 2:23 pm Permalink

    I tried but shows error like this

    sarah-2:~ imacpro$ sudo rm -rf/Volumes/backup/Backups.backupdb/sarah\ \(2\)/2013-06-08-113405.inProgress
    rm: illegal option — /
    usage: rm [-f | -i] [-dPRrvW] file …
    unlink file

    what should I do?

  8. mick 9 December 2014 at 7:19 pm Permalink

    luv your tips and tricks . works perfectly and simple … even an computer beginner like me can easily do it . many thanks again ..

  9. stephanie 16 December 2014 at 11:42 am Permalink

    thank you!!

  10. Diego 11 July 2015 at 5:37 pm Permalink

    Hi Sal,

    I running a MAC – OS X 10.9.5
    I believe I was transferring files between 2 external hard drives and deleting a bunch of
    different files. When I was done I tried to emtpy my trash and 2 files remained.
    I have tried every suggestion out there except to download a Help/Recovery software.
    When I tried your solution I dragged the files into the Terminal and pressed enter
    I was prompted for my password, I entered it and it just reset the prompt back.

    omars-imac:~ odibarra$ sudo rm -rf /Volumes/TERRA\ DRIVE/.Trashes/502/System\ Volume\ Information
    omars-imac:~ odibarra$

    Can you help please, Not sure if I’m doing it correctly.



  11. Joanie 30 January 2016 at 8:31 pm Permalink

    This worked perfectly!!! I’ve had some random file on my computer since I purchased it in January 2014 and couldn’t get rid of it until today (January 2016).

    Thank you!

  12. Jim 11 August 2016 at 4:54 pm Permalink

    Hello Sal –

    I just received the error code – 8072 when trying to delete several vendor emails off my main Mac Hard Drive. While your directions deal with peripheral drives, I tried to use it to delete the files from my main HD, but it did not work. Have you got an idea why?

    I am running Mac OS X 10.6.8


    • Sal Ciampa 26 August 2016 at 9:44 am Permalink

      Hi Jim, unfortunately, I’m not sure why it does not work. Perhaps consults some unix/linux sites? Good luck!

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