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This chapter is from the book

Delete Files

Discarded files go to the Trash, which, unlike other folders in the Finder, exists on the Dock. Here’s how to delete something.

  1. Select the offending item.
  2. Drag it to the Trash icon in the Dock (Figure 4.4).

    Figure 4.4

    Figure 4.4 Dragging a file to the Trash

Recover trashed items

If you need to pull something out of the Trash, simply click the Trash icon to display its contents in a new window, and then move the file out. Or, you can select the item in the Trash window and choose Put Back from the File menu or the contextual menu.

Empty the Trash

Although you may have thrown something in the Trash, the item still takes up space on your hard disk. If you’re certain you don’t need the bits in the bin, empty the Trash in one of the following ways.

  • Choose Finder > Empty Trash. OS X will ask you to verify that you really want to do it; click the Empty Trash button.
  • Open the Trash and click the Empty button in the upper-right corner of the window.
  • Control-click or right-click the Trash icon and choose Empty Trash from the contextual menu that appears.
  • Press Command-Shift-Delete in the Finder.

Securely empty the Trash

Even after you’ve emptied the Trash, the files you deleted are still readable to file-recovery software. (On the disk, files are only marked as deleted, freeing up their space to be overwritten later.) To ensure that no one can recover the files, securely empty the Trash by choosing Finder > Secure Empty Trash. OS X replaces the files on disk by writing random data to their locations.

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