4 Useful Trash Keyboard Shortcuts Every Mac User Should Know
Trash is one of those overlooked aspects of OS X that you probably don’t think much about, most of us just drag a file into it, empty the Trash to delete a document and free up disk space, and that’s about it. That’s fine, but there are also a handful of genuinely useful keyboard shortcuts that pertain to Trash on the Mac, and if you spend any time in the file system they’re worth learning.
These keystrokes must have something in Finder selected in order to work, whether that’s a single file, a folder, or a whole group of documents.
Send an Item to Trash Instantly
- Command+Delete with any file or folder selected will send it instantly to the Trash in OS X
Return Items from Trash to Original Location
- Command+Delete with anything currently in the Trash selected returns it to the original location in the file system. You can also access this by right-clicking an item and choosing “Put Back”
- Shift+Command+Delete will immediately empty the Trash. This is the safer approach since it brings up the warning dialog telling you the action is permanent.
Force Empty Trash – Without Warning
- Shift+Option+Command+Delete will immediately force empty the Trash with no warnings, regardless of what’s in the Trash.
Bonus Tips for the Trash
- You can have “Secure Empty Trash” be the default setting by changing the Advanced Finder preferences, found under the Finder menu
- For the nostalgic, a Trash icon can be placed on the desktop like the good old days of System 9 and before by using symbolic links
- Turning to the command line will let you override every and any warning that may be encountered when attempting to delete the Trash, even if a file is locked or in use