Delete files and folders

If you don't want a file or folder any more, you can delete it. When you delete an item it is moved to the Trash folder, where it is stored until you empty the trash. You can restore items in the Trash folder to their original location if you decide you need them, or if they were accidentally deleted.

To send a file to the trash:

  1. Select the item you want to place in the trash by clicking it once.

  2. Press Delete on your keyboard. Alternatively, drag the item to the Trash in the sidebar.

To delete files permanently, and free up disk space on your computer, you need to empty the trash. To empty the trash, right-click Trash in the sidebar and select Empty Trash.

Permanently delete a file

You can immediately delete a file permanently, without having to send it to the trash first.

To permanently delete a file:

  1. Select the item you want to delete.

  2. Press and hold the Shift key, then press the Delete key on your keyboard.

  3. Because you cannot undo this, you will be asked to confirm that you want to delete the file or folder.

If you frequently need to delete files without using the trash (for example, if you often work with sensitive data), you can add a Delete entry to the right-click menu for files and folders. Click Edit ▸ Preferences and select the Behavior tab. Select Include a Delete command that bypasses Trash.

Deleted files on a removable device may not be visible on other operating systems, such Windows or Mac OS. The files are still there, and will be available when you plug the device back into your computer.