Pro Tip: Delete files immediately in OS X El Capitan


Get rid of your files immediately in El Capitan.
Get rid of your files immediately in El Capitan.
Photo: Steve Lambert/FlickrCC

Pro Tip Cult of Mac bugEvery day, I delete files. Usually, they’re images or screenshots I download or use for my work here at Cult of Mac. These kinds of files pile up across a full day, and I just want to get rid of them to de-clutter my workspace.

Even if I use the Command-Delete keyboard shortcut to get them to the Trash, I still need to empty the Trash (with Shift-Command-Delete), making this a two-step process.

OS X El Capitan brings a feature that lets me skip one of these steps. Here’s how to delete your files immediately using your El Capitan-enabled Mac.

In the Finder

You can delete files right from the Finder in OS X El Capitan, skipping the whole “throw in the Trash” step. First, select the files you want to delete in the Finder with either a click, a Command-click (for non-contiguous files) or a Shift-click for contiguous files. If you’re in a folder and want to delete all of them, you can choose Select All from the Edit menu or just hit Command-A for Select All.

Once you have your files selected, hold down the Option key on your keyboard and click on the File menu at the top of your Mac’s screen. Instead of the usual “Move to Trash,” you’ll see the menu option “Delete Immediately.” Choose that and you’ll get a little reminder that this is a permanent delete. Click on Delete and those files will be gone for good.

You can also just select your files and hit Option-Command-Delete. You’ll get the same dialog box and you’ll have to click the Delete button to confirm as before.

In the Trash

If your files are already in the Trash and you want to delete specific files in there, you can select one or several, right-click on them, and choose Delete Immediately. You’ll get the same dialog there, as well. Click Delete to complete the process.

Why you’d want to do this is beyond me, but it’s an option you might find handy.

Via: CIO