Delete files and folders on Mac
At any time, you can get rid of files, folders and other items that you no longer need. You start by dragging items to the Bin in the Dock, but the items aren’t deleted until you empty the Bin.
Note: If you turned off Time Machine or haven’t backed up your files recently, you may want to store a backup copy on a storage device, just in case you change your mind and want the item later.
Delete an item from your Mac or iCloud Drive
To search for and locate files you want to delete, see Narrow your search results on Mac.
If an item is locked, you need to confirm you want to move it to the Bin, or unlock the item before putting it in the Bin. To unlock the item first, select it, choose File > Get Info (or press Command-I), then unselect the Locked tick box. If you’re not logged in as an administrator, you may need to click the lock to unlock it, then enter an administrator name and password (or use Touch ID or your Apple Watch).
Empty the Bin
On your Mac, click the Bin icon in the Dock.
In the window that appears, do one of the following:
Empty one item from the Bin: Control-click the item you want to delete, then choose Delete Immediately.
In the warning message that appears, click Delete.
Empty all of the Bin: Click the Empty button in the upper-right corner of the Finder window. You can also click the Finder icon in the Dock, then choose Finder > Empty Bin.
In the warning message that appears, click Empty Bin.
Items that you move to the Bin from your Mac remain until you empty the Bin. You can choose to automatically empty the Bin in Finder preferences.
Items that you move to the Bin from iCloud Drive are automatically emptied from the Bin after 30 days, regardless of Finder preferences. You can choose to empty the Bin sooner than 30 days.
WARNING: Any items emptied from the Bin are no longer available.
Prevent the Bin warning message from appearing
To prevent the Bin warning message from appearing, do one of the following:
Once: Press the Option key when you click Empty or choose Empty Bin.
Always: Turn off the warning in the Advanced pane of Finder preferences. In the Finder , choose Finder > Preferences, click Advanced, then unselect “Show warning before emptying the Bin.”
If you change your mind before emptying the Bin
Remove items from the Bin automatically after 30 days
In the Finder on your Mac, choose Finder > Preferences, then click Advanced.
Select “Remove items from the Bin after 30 days.”
Note: Items deleted from your Mac are permanently deleted. For information about restoring deleted items, see Restore contacts, calendars, bookmarks, and more using iCloud.com in the iCloud User Guide.