How to fix the font in use, cannot delete error message on Mac OS X when attempting to permanently delete fonts from the trash.

If you’ve tried to delete fonts on your Mac OS X computer, you may have encountered the following error message saying the font cannot be deleted because it is currently in use:

“The operation can’t be completed because the item is in use.”

Even when no applications other than Finder are currently running, the error message persists.

On occasions, a simple computer restart will resolve the issue. For times when restarting your computer is not convenient, you can kill a couple systems process to resolve the issue.

See Also: Mac OS X – Change / Set Default Application for File Type [Video]

As shown in the video above, if you use the Activity Monitor application to force quit all of the “quicklook” process running on your Mac OS X, the error message will no longer appear and the font can then be permanently deleted.

The quicklook processes seem to handle preview images of fonts and force quitting the processes does not seem to negatively impact system performance. In fact, the processes only run when installing and working with fonts on Mac OS X.

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Anson Alexander

Anson Alexander is a blogger, author, SEO expert, teacher, and tech geek. As the founder of, Anson works full time writing, editing, and producing content for his site and providing technical and business services to clients. He has a BS in international business and information systems from the University of Tampa. In his free time, Anson plays video games, enjoys nature, spends time at the beach, and loves to travel.

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