How to Delete Trash on Mac

Alicia Santos

Mac, Tutorials

Deleting Trash on Mac: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you are a Mac user, you might have noticed that the Trash folder can quickly accumulate files and take up valuable storage space. In this tutorial, we will walk you through the process of deleting trash on your Mac, ensuring that your system stays organized and clutter-free.

Step 1: Locate the Trash Folder

First things first, let’s find where the Trash folder is located on your Mac. The Trash folder is usually located at the far right end of your Dock, represented by a waste bin icon.

Step 2: Open the Trash Folder

To access the contents of the Trash folder, simply click on its icon in the Dock. Alternatively, you can also open Finder and navigate to the “Trash” option listed in the sidebar.

Step 3: Review and Select Files

Once inside the Trash folder, you will see a list of all files and folders that have been deleted from your system. Take a moment to review these items before permanently deleting them.

Note: If you accidentally deleted something and want to restore it, simply select the file or folder and drag it back to its original location or right-click on it and choose “Put Back” from the context menu.

Step 4: Delete Individually

If you only want to delete specific items from your Trash folder, select them one by one by clicking on them while holding down the Command key. Once selected, press Command + Delete or right-click on any selected item(s) and choose “Move to Trash” from the context menu.

Step 5: Emptying Your Trash

If you want to delete all the items in your Trash folder at once, click on the “Empty” button located at the top-right corner of the Trash window. Alternatively, you can right-click on the Trash icon in the Dock and choose “Empty Trash” from the context menu.

Caution: Once you empty your Trash, all files and folders inside will be permanently deleted and cannot be recovered unless you have a backup.

Step 6: Confirm Deletion

A confirmation dialog box will appear, asking if you are sure you want to permanently delete the selected items. Review the list one last time to ensure that no important files are being deleted. If everything looks good, click on “Empty Trash” to proceed.

Step 7: Wait for Deletion

Depending on the number and size of files being deleted, it might take a few moments for your Mac to complete the deletion process. Be patient until it finishes removing all items from your Trash folder.


  • Keyboard Shortcut: You can quickly empty your Trash without opening it by pressing Command + Shift + Delete.
  • Secure Empty Trash: If you want to securely delete sensitive files from your Mac, hold down Option while clicking on “Empty” in Step 5. This ensures that the deleted files cannot be recovered using specialized software.

Congratulations! You have successfully learned how to delete trash on your Mac. Regularly emptying your Trash folder will help keep your system running smoothly and efficiently.

We hope this tutorial has been helpful to you. Happy organizing!

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