How to Use the Move to Trash Shortcut on Mac: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you tired of right-clicking and scrolling through options to trash a file on your Mac? Well, there’s a quicker way: the move to trash shortcut. By pressing Command + Delete, you can instantly send any selected file or folder straight to the trash. Now, let’s dive deeper into how to make the most out of this time-saving shortcut.

Move to Trash Shortcut Mac Tutorial

Before we jump into the steps, remember that this shortcut will help you quickly and efficiently send files you no longer need to the trash. It’s a simple yet effective way to keep your Mac’s desktop and folders tidy.

Step 1: Select the file or folder you want to delete.

Click on the file or folder you wish to remove.

Selecting the right file or folder is crucial because once you use the move to trash shortcut, that item is going straight to the trash. Make sure you’ve clicked on the item so it’s highlighted, indicating it’s selected.

Step 2: Press the Command + Delete keys simultaneously.

Use your keyboard to press and hold the Command key, then press the Delete key.

By pressing these keys at the same time, you’re telling your Mac to move the selected item to the trash. The Command key is usually found next to the space bar, and the Delete key is in the top-right corner of most Mac keyboards.

Once you’ve completed the action, the selected files or folders will disappear from their original location and be moved to the trash. It’s important to note that these items aren’t completely deleted from your Mac yet. They’re simply moved to the trash, where they’ll stay until you empty it.

Tips for Using Move to Trash Shortcut Mac

  • Ensure you have selected the correct item before using the shortcut to avoid accidentally deleting important files.
  • If you accidentally move an item to the trash, you can recover it by opening the trash and dragging the item back out.
  • Remember to regularly empty your trash to free up storage space on your Mac.
  • You can undo the move to trash action by immediately pressing Command + Z after using the shortcut.
  • Be cautious when using this shortcut with external drives, as items deleted from external drives may not go to the trash and could be permanently deleted.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I want to delete multiple files at once?

You can select multiple files by holding down the Command key and clicking each one, then use the move to trash shortcut.

Can I use this shortcut with folders?

Yes, the move to trash shortcut works with both files and folders.

What happens if the trash is full?

Your Mac will automatically remove the oldest items from the trash when it becomes full to make room for new items.

Is there a way to permanently delete a file without moving it to the trash?

Yes, by pressing Command + Option + Delete, you can permanently delete a file without moving it to the trash. Use this cautiously.

Can I retrieve items from the trash?

Yes, items will remain in the trash until you empty it, so you can drag them back out if needed.


  1. Select the file or folder you want to delete.
  2. Press the Command + Delete keys simultaneously.


Mastering the move to trash shortcut on Mac can significantly speed up your workflow and help maintain a clutter-free workspace. This simple combination of Command + Delete packs a powerful punch, swiftly moving unwanted items out of sight and out of mind. However, with great power comes great responsibility. Always ensure you’re trashing the right files, as a hasty click can lead to unintended data loss. But fear not, the Mac’s trash bin is a forgiving place where files can be resurrected before final deletion. Embrace this shortcut and make it an integral part of your digital routine, your productivity will thank you. And remember, a tidy Mac is a happy Mac!

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