How to Delete a File on a Mac

Hello there! 👋 Are you unsure of how to delete a file on your Mac? Don’t worry, it’s easier than you may think! In this article, we’ll guide you through the simple steps of deleting files on your Mac, so you can keep your computer organized and clutter-free.

Deleting unwanted files is crucial if you want to free up space on your hard drive, and fortunately, it’s a straightforward process. Whether you’re looking to delete a single file or an entire folder, we’ve got you covered. So grab your Mac and let’s get started! 🔍

How to Delete a File on Mac

Why do you need to know about deleting files on Mac?

If you are a Mac user, then you must be aware of the fact that it is one of the most-efficient and reliable operating systems available out there. However, even with all its advanced features, there are times when you need to delete some files or folders permanently from your system. This could be due to various reasons such as the file taking up too much storage space, or it being infected with viruses or malware. Whatever the reason may be, knowing how to delete files on Mac can come in handy in such situations.

The different ways to delete files on Mac

When it comes to deleting files on a Mac, there are several methods that you can follow. Depending on the type of file, its location, and other factors, you can choose the most appropriate method from the ones mentioned below:

Delete files from the Finder:

The most common method of deleting files on a Mac is by using the Finder. All you need to do is locate the file that you wish to delete, right-click on it and select ‘Move to Trash’. This will move the file to the Trash, which is an internal folder on your Mac. To permanently delete the file, you need to go to the Trash and empty it. Alternatively, you can also use the keyboard shortcut ‘Command + Delete’ to move the file to Trash.

Delete files from the Dock:

If you frequently access a file or a folder, then you might have it saved on your Dock for easy access. To delete such files or folders, you can simply click and hold on the item, and then select ‘Remove from Dock’. This will remove the item from the Dock, but will not delete it from your system. To delete the item permanently, you need to follow the steps mentioned above.

Delete files using Terminal:

If you are comfortable using the Terminal on your Mac, then you can delete files using command-line instructions. To do this, open the Terminal and type the command ‘rm’ followed by the file path and name. After that, hit Enter to execute the command, and the file will be deleted from your system. However, we suggest that you be cautious while using Terminal commands as they can be irreversible and can lead to unwanted results.


Deleting files or folders on a Mac is a simple process, provided you know the right method to follow. We hope that this article has helped you understand the different ways to delete files on your Mac, and you can now do it with ease and without any hassles. Remember to always double-check the files before permanently deleting them, and take a backup if necessary.

Locating the File

When it comes to deleting files on a Mac, the first step is locating the file or folder you wish to remove. This can be done by searching your desktop or navigating to the location within the Finder window. The Finder represents the file system of your Mac and organizes files, folders, and other items on your computer.

If you’re looking for a file on your desktop, simply take a glance and locate the icon. If the file is within the Finder, you can use the search bar to locate it quickly. Click on the Finder icon in your Dock, or bring it up with the Command + Space shortcut, and then enter the file name into the search bar. Once you’ve located the file or folder you wish to delete, you’re ready to proceed with the deletion process.

Moving the File to Trash

If you want to delete a file on Mac, the easiest and simplest way to do it is by moving the file to the Trash. This can be done in just a few steps.

First, you need to locate the file you want to delete. It might be stored on your desktop or in a folder. Once you have located it, click on it to select it.

Next, drag the selected file to the Trash can icon located on your desktop or within the Dock. You can also use the keyboard shortcut, Command + Delete, to move the file to the Trash.

When you move the file to the Trash, it’s not deleted permanently from your Mac. Instead, it’s stored in the Trash until you choose to empty it. You can access the Trash by clicking on its icon on the desktop or within the Dock.

It’s important to note that some files might not be moved to the Trash. For example, system files and files that are currently in use cannot be deleted in this way. If you try to delete such files, you might see an error message saying that the file is locked or cannot be moved to the Trash.

Finally, to permanently delete the file from your Mac, you need to empty the Trash. To do this, right-click on the Trash can icon and select “Empty Trash” from the dropdown menu. Alternatively, you can open the Trash and click on the “Empty” button in the upper-right corner.

That’s it! You have successfully deleted a file on your Mac by moving it to the Trash. This method is suitable for files that you don’t need anymore and want to get rid of permanently.

Before deleting a file on your Mac, it’s important to make sure you know what you’re doing. For a more general overview of Mac basics, check out our PILLAR article on buying more storage for your iPhone.

Permanently Deleting the File

Deleting files on a Mac is a simple process. However, when you delete a file on your Mac, it isn’t removed completely from your storage device. The file is moved to the Trash can, where it can be restored or recovered at a later time. If you want to ensure the file is truly gone from your system, you need to permanently delete it. Here’s how:

First, locate the file you wish to delete. Right-click on the file to bring up the contextual menu. From the menu, select “Move to Trash.”

Once you’ve moved the file to the Trash can, it’s not completely gone yet. To permanently delete the file, right-click on the Trash can icon located on the dock. From the contextual menu, select “Empty Trash.”

A warning window will appear, asking if you’re sure you want to permanently delete the items in the Trash can. Click “Empty Trash” to confirm.

It’s essential to note that once you empty the Trash can, all files inside will be permanently deleted. Be sure that you have selected the correct file before emptying the Trash can.

Another way to permanently delete files is by using a third-party application. There are several applications available that specialize in permanently deleting files from your storage device. These apps use specialized algorithms to overwrite the data on your storage device, ensuring that it can never be recovered. If you frequently work with sensitive data, investing in one of these applications may be worth it.

In conclusion, deleting a file on a Mac is an easy process; however, permanently deleting a file requires you to take an extra step. By following the above steps to permanently delete a file, you can ensure that your sensitive data is wiped from your Mac and cannot be recovered by anyone.

Say goodbye to unwanted files on your Mac

Now that we’ve covered the different ways to delete files on your Mac, you can easily organize your files and free up storage space. Remember to always double-check which files you are deleting and be careful not to delete anything important. Hopefully, this guide helped you navigate through your Mac’s file system. Thanks for reading and come back soon for more tech tips and tricks!

Recommended Video : How to Delete a File on a Mac

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *