I’ve come across several Macs Apple Mac OSX Trash Canwhere the trash can has not been emptied since the machine was bought.

It’s important to understand that you don’t get any space back on your Mac until the trash is emptied

Moving Files To The Trash

Select a file or group of files – If you need help read How To Select On A Mac. Only Easy When You Know How.

You have 3 options:

  • Drag and Drop these files into the Trash
  • Right-Click (or Control Click) the selected files, then choose Move to Trash from the pop-up menu.
  • Move files into the Trash using the keystroke shortcut Command Delete.

Apple Mac Keyboard - Mini - Delete File Keystroke

Empty The Trash

You have several choices:

  1. Right-Click (or Control Click) on the Trash, then choose Empty Trash from the pop-up menu.
  2. Click and hold on the Trash, then choose Empty Trash from the pop-up menu.
  3. Go to the Finder. In the Menu Bar choose Finder > Empty Trash
  4. Use the keystroke shortcut Command Shift Delete.

Apple Mac Keyboard - Mini - Empty Trash Keystroke

In each case you get a warning – Are you sure you want to permanently erase items in the trash. Choose Empty Trash.

If you don’t to want to see this warning, go to the Finder, click the Finder Menu, choose Preferences and on the tab labelled Advanced, uncheck Show warning before emptying the Trash.

Apple Mac OSX - Finder Preferences

Removing Items From The Trash

Double click on the Trash and it will open to show it’s contents.

Drag and Drop any item out of the trash and it will not be deleted.

Right-Click (or Control Click) on some items in the Trash and a pop-up menu offers the option to Put Back. Choosing this option places the file back in its original location.

Apple Mac OSX - Put Back From Trash

Empty Trash Securely

If you’re concerned with deleting data securely read this post – How To… Securely Erase Files

Deleting Data Within Applications

The two-stage deletion process, of moving files to a trash folder and then emptying that trash folder, is also found in many Applications.

Apple Mail, iPhoto, and iMovie all employ this method.

Do you have hundreds of emails sitting in the Trash in Apple Mail?

Now’s a good time to check. You can right-click (or control click) on the Trash folder to empty it.

Apple Mail - Delete Trash

Happy St. Patricks Day 🙂

Have a stress-free week.

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