Delete A File Immediately On Your Mac–Bypass Trash

Did you know that you can bypass using your Mac’s Trash and simply delete a file immediately? Somehow I failed to learn that Apple added this feature in 2015 with OS X El Capitan (aka OS X 10.11).

Deleting a file is usually a two step process. First, move the file to the Trash, then empty the Trash. This two step process adds some safety. If deleting a file were a one-step process, this could increase the chance of accidentally deleting the wrong file. Now that Apple has provided a one-step process, please use it carefully.

Here are instructions on how to delete files immediately. There are two methods, one using a menu command, the other using a keyboard shortcut.

Method 1 – Using A Menu Command
  1. Click on the Finder icon on your Dock, then select one or more files in the Finder window that appears.
  2. Click on the File menu, press the Option key on your keyboard and then select the Delete Immediately command. Use the image below as a guide.
  3. Click the Delete button in the confirmation window that appears, asking you if you’re sure that you want to delete this file.

Delete Immediately in File Menu

Method 2 – Using A Keyboard Shortcut
  1. Click on the Finder icon on your Dock, then select one or more files in the Finder.
  2. Press Command-Option-Delete.
  3. Click the Delete button in the confirmation window that appears, asking you if you’re sure that you want to delete this file.