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All Methods to Delete Files on Mac

All Methods to Delete Files on Mac

All Methods to Delete Files on Mac

Managing files and folders on your Mac can sometimes be a daunting task. Whether you're looking to free up some space, get rid of unnecessary clutter, or simply want to organize your digital workspace, knowing how to delete files is essential. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore all the methods you can use to delete files on your Mac.

Using the Trash Can

The most common way to delete files on a Mac is by using the Trash Can. This is a built-in feature of the Mac operating system, designed to temporarily store deleted files before they are permanently erased.

To delete a file using the Trash Can, simply drag and drop the file into the Trash Can icon on your Dock. Alternatively, you can right-click the file and select 'Move to Trash'. Once a file is in the Trash Can, it's not gone forever. You can still recover it by opening the Trash Can and dragging the file back to its original location.

To permanently delete a file from the Trash Can, right-click the Trash Can icon and select 'Empty Trash'. Be careful with this option, as it will permanently delete all files in the Trash Can, not just the one you selected.

Quick Tip Keyboard Shortcuts

 For those who prefer keyboard shortcuts, you can also delete a file by selecting it and pressing the 'Command + Delete' keys. To empty the Trash Can, use the 'Shift + Command + Delete' keys.

Using Finder: Another way to delete files on a Mac is by using Finder. Finder is the default file manager on Mac, and it provides several options for managing and deleting files.

To delete a file using Finder, open a Finder window and navigate to the location of the file you want to delete. Once you've found the file, you can either drag it to the Trash Can, or right-click the file and select 'Move to Trash'.

Just like with the Trash Can, you can also use Finder to permanently delete files. To do this, navigate to the Trash Can in Finder, select the file you want to delete, and then select 'Delete Immediately' from the File menu.

Quick Tip Secure Empty Trash: If you're concerned about data security, you can use the 'Secure Empty Trash' option in Finder. This option overwrites the space where the deleted files were stored, making it almost impossible to recover them.

Using Terminal: For advanced users, the Terminal provides a powerful way to manage and delete files on a Mac. The Terminal is a command-line interface that allows you to control your Mac using text commands.

To delete a file using Terminal, first navigate to the location of the file using the 'cd' command. Once you're in the right directory, you can delete the file using the 'rm' command followed by the name of the file.

Be careful when using Terminal to delete files. Unlike the Trash Can and Finder, Terminal does not have a way to recover deleted files. Once a file is deleted using Terminal, it's gone forever.

Using Wildcards: If you need to delete multiple files at once, you can use wildcards with the 'rm' command. For example, 'rm *.txt' will delete all text files in the current directory.


Deleting files on a Mac is a straightforward process, whether you're using the Trash Can, Finder, or Terminal. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, so choose the one that best fits your needs.

Remember, it's always a good idea to back up important files before deleting them. While it's possible to recover files from the Trash Can and Finder, once a file is permanently deleted, it's gone forever. So, always double-check before you delete!

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