It is necessary to clean up your files and folder once in a while to stay organized especially if you have tons of files on your Mac.

However, not all files need to be permanently deleted from your hard drive.

When it comes to the file deletion, it’s usually discussed in 2 different aspects – removing files permanently or moving to recycle bin/trash.

If you feel like wanting to get the file back in the future, you can simply move them to the Trash folder. Otherwise, you can permanently delete a file if you have no use for it.

Related read: 5 ways you can Take Screenshots on a Mac 

The process is quite similar to Microsoft’s Windows. You can either remove it all together at once or move it to trash to restore files from your Recycle Bin.

How to Delete Files on Your Mac

It’s recommended to always have a final look at the contents you wanna move to the trash bin or permanently to avoid accidentally tossing in something important.

Menu Option

  • Locate the files in a folder or the whole folder that you would like to delete on your desktop.
  • Right-click on it.
  • An options menu will pop-up < Click Move to trash.

Use Keyboard Shortcut

You can immediately delete a file using a keyboard shortcut.

  • First, select the file or folder you wanna delete.
  • Hit Option + Command + Delete.

A pop-up notification will show up to confirm the delete action. Click on Delete to confirm.

How to Skip the Trash and Delete Files Permanently

Like before, select the file you want to delete by clicking on it. If it is more than one item, press and hold the Command key then click the items to select multiple files.

If the items are listed together in a selection, click the first item, and press the Shift key and click on the last item.

Right-click on it or Hold down the Option key on your keyboard and select File at the top of the page, then click on File < Delete Immediately.

Alternatively, you can also use these Shortcut key Option + Command + Delete to skip trash and immediately delete the files.

How to Delete Files from Trash Folder

On your homepage, open the Trash can icon to open your Trash folder. Locate the files to delete and Right-click on it and select Delete Immediately.

A pop-up message will show to prompt whether you wanna confirm the delete action and get rid of the file(s) from your MAC device permanently.

Another way to empty the Trash is to use this shortcut key Cmd + Shift + Delete.

How to Delete Downloads

  • Open the “Finder” app from your dock.
  • In the left-hand-side menu of the Finder box, select “Downloads.”
  • Select the download files you wanna delete.
  • Follow the deletion process from the above guides depending on whether you wanna remove it permanently from your device or move to trash to restore in the future.

How to Skip Mac asking before Deleting

You can delete immediately on a Mac and stop the Prompt message showing “are you sure you want to permanently erase” warning every time you try to delete something.

Note: It’s probably wise to keep this warning on to avoid accidentally deleting something important.

Press Cmd+Option+Shift+Delete to remove the confirmation message.


  • Open the Finder window.
  • Select Finder < Preferences.
  • Choose Advanced < Deselect the “Show warning before emptying the Trash option.”

How to Recover Trash and Restore Deleted Files on Mac

OK, I don’t need to keep this file any longer on my Mac. It’s eating up my storage space. Maybe I’ll just move it down to the Trash for now.

Whoops! I actually need that file like right now! Now what? Well, unless you haven’t already emptied your Trash, you can recover your deleted file easily whenever you want back to its original folder!

The “Recycle Bin” on Windows is similar to the “Trash” on Mac.

To restore and bring back to life the trashed file to their original location on your Mac, click on the Trash icon down in your Mac’s Dock. An alternative way is to “Go to the folder” option and type “Trash” in the search bar.

Select the lost documents or files and folder that you wish to return, right-click (Control-click) them, and from the drop-down menu, click on “Pullback” to retrieve them.

Once it’s done, the file will be restored to the original folder from where it was deleted. Also, a new Finder window will open showing the file in the window’s directory.

Note: Trashed files will b automatically emptied after 30 days and you won’t be able to restore them. So, it is recommended to restore the files which you feel like you may need later before 30 days or back-up your files and folders.

Final Words

Deleting a file on a Mac, restoring them on from Trash Bin is as easy as it gets. My personal go-to is Command + Delete to move files to the trash and Command + Shift + Delete to empty the trash.

Imagine if only cleaning your room was as easy as this. On a serious note, clean your room like RIGHT NOW if you haven’t already!

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