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The Trash & Deleting Items

The Trash is a special place on your hard disk where you place items you want to delete. Items in the Trash remain there until you empty the Trash, which removes them from your disk. In Mac OS X, the Trash appears as an icon in the Dock.

To move an item to the Trash

  1. Drag the icon for the item you want to delete to the Trash icon in the Dock.
  2. When the mouse pointer moves over the Trash icon, the Trash icon becomes selected (Figure 39). Release the mouse button.

    Figure 39 To move an item to the Trash, drag it there ...


  1. Select the item that you want to delete.
  2. Choose File > Move To Trash ( Figure 40 ), or press ctrldelete.gif .

    Figure 40 ...or select the item and choose Move To Trash from the File menu.

To move an item out of the Trash

  1. Click the Trash icon in the Dock to open the Trash window ( Figure 42 ).

    Figure 42 Opening the Trash displays the Trash window.

  2. Drag the item from the Trash window to the Desktop or to another window on your hard disk. The item is moved from the Trash to the window you dragged it to.


Choose Edit > Undo Move of "Item Name" ( Figure 43 ), or press ctrlz.gif . The item is moved back to where it was before you moved it to the Trash.


Figure 43 If the last thing you did was to put an item in the Trash, you can use the Undo command to take it back out.

To empty the Trash

  1. Choose Finder > Empty Trash ( Figure 44 ), or press shiftctrldelete.gif .

    Figure 44 The Finder menu includes two commands for emptying the Trash.

  2. A Trash warning dialog like the one in Figure 45 appears. Click OK to delete all items that are in the Trash.

    Figure 45 The Trash warning dialog asks you to confirm that you really do want to delete the items in the Trash.


  1. Point to the Trash icon, press the mouse button, and hold it down until a menu appears ( Figure 46 ).

    Figure 46 When you point to the Trash icon in the Dock and hold the mouse button down, a menu with an Empty Trash option appears.

  2. Choose Empty Trash. The contents of the Trash are deleted. No warning appears.

To permanently remove items in the Trash from your disk

  1. Choose Finder > Secure Empty Trash ( Figure 44 ).
  2. A Trash warning dialog like the one in Figure 47 appears. Click OK to permanently remove all items that are in the Trash.

    Figure 47 Using the Secure Empty Trash command displays a warning dialog like this.

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