Languages

OS X Mountain Lion: Remove files and folders from your computer

Remove files and folders from your computer

You can delete files, folders, and other items that you no longer need.

You may want to store a backup copy or an archive of important items if you are trying to clear space on your internal disk.

Remove an item from your computer

  1. Drag the item to the Trash, located at the end of the Dock. Or select the item and press Command (⌘)-Delete.
  2. Choose Finder > Empty Trash, or press Command (⌘)-Shift–Delete. When you see a warning message, click OK.

    If you see a Finder > Secure Empty Trash option but not a Finder > Empty Trash option, see this help topic:

    If there’s no Empty Trash command in the Finder menu

Remove a locked item from your computer

You must unlock the item before putting it in the Trash.

  1. Select the item and choose File > Get Info, or press Command (⌘)-I.
  2. Deselect the Locked checkbox in the General section. If you don’t own the item, you may need to provide an administrator’s name and password.
  3. Put the item in the Trash and choose Finder > Empty Trash, or press Command (⌘)-Shift–Delete. When you see a warning message, click OK.

Securely empty the Trash

Even after you empty the Trash, deleted files can be recovered using data-recovery software. For extra security, you can delete files so they can’t be recovered.

  1. Drag the item to the Trash.
  2. Choose Finder > Secure Empty Trash. When you see a warning message, click OK.

Files deleted in this way are completely overwritten by meaningless data. This may take some time, depending on the size of the files.

To prevent the recovery of files you deleted previously, open Disk Utility, choose Help > Disk Utility Help, and then search for help on erasing free disk space.

Prevent the Trash warning message from appearing

  • Press the Option key when you choose Empty Trash.
  • You can also turn off the warning in the Advanced pane of Finder preferences. Choose Finder > Preferences.

If you change your mind

Click the Trash icon to open it and then drag the item out of the Trash, or select the item and choose File > Put Back.

Last Modified: Aug 8, 2013
Helpful?
Yes
No
  • Last Modified: Aug 8, 2013
  • Article: PH10628
  • Views:

    null

Additional Product Support Information