How to Delete Files From Mac Per­ma­nent­ly – Guide

Macs are known to last a long time. You are more likely to replace your Mac because it is too old for the next version of the operating system than because it breaks. But if you decide to replace your Mac, be sure to securely erase all of your personal files before recycling them. That way, you can be sure that your deleted files cannot be recovered by the next owner. Whether you should safely delete files on your hard drive depends on whether you are using a normal hard drive (HDD) or a solid state drive (SSD). On an SSD, you do not need to safely delete files.

My files can be recovered after deleting them

Data recovery technology has made it possible to recover files and restore them, which means that someone else can recover any files that you delete from a hard drive. Most new Macs come with solid state drives (flash storage) or Fusion drives for some iMacs, instead of the old rotating hard drives. This is a critical factor when it comes to securely deleting files from your Mac, because you won’t have to do that if it comes with an SSD. If you have an older Mac, you probably have a normal HDD, but newer models with SSDs allow you to use the standard method of moving files and emptying the trash to delete files, compared to safely deleting them. Unlike HDDs, where secure file deletion works, this is not the case with SSDs because replacing a file only creates a new one in a new location, but does not replace the contents of the old file. Fortunately, there are different methods you can use to permanently delete files from your Mac, whether it has old HDDs or SSDs.

Move files to the trash

This is a tried and true method of deleting files from your Mac by dragging them to the trash. You can also use Move to Trash feature by right-clicking on the file and selecting the option. From here, you can move on and empty the trash. Delete immediately is a feature introduced by Apple with OS X (macOS) 10.11 El Capitan that bypasses the recycle bin when you delete a file. It is much faster than Move to Trash, as you simply highlight your files and use the Option-Command-Delete shortcut. Alternatively, you can go to the Finder’s File menu and hold down the Option key to change the Move to Trash option to Delete immediately. You will be asked to confirm the deletion, just as you would when using the Move to trash option. If you want to skip the confirmation of the empty trash, go to the keyboard and press the Command-Option-Shift-Delete shortcut. This will ignore the dialog window to confirm the deletion and empty the trash instantly. If it is too difficult for you to remember or uncomfortable, change the Finder preferences setting to end the confirmation. Go to Menu> Preferences and uncheck Show warning before emptying the Trash box on the Advanced tab.

Empty Safe Trash

This is another simple solution to permanently delete your files from your Mac. It ensures that items are deleted forever, by recording random data on them multiple times. O feature came with Mac OS X 10.3 Panther. It overwrites data seven times for added security. To use this feature, click the Finder menu and select Empty Trash Safely just below Empty Trash.

Use a third-party application

If deleting your files by emptying the trash does not help, you can get a third-party application to force emptying the trash. There are many such applications available, such as Permanent Eraser or Clean My Mac, that can help you empty your trash completely and permanently.

Use Mac Terminal

Mac Terminal is a command line tool that allows you to perform tedious tasks, such as deleting files easily in just seconds. The program uses Unix commands to perform various functions quickly and easily without the operating system interfering with its processes. It is efficient and powerful as it helps to remove files easily and permanently. However, if you have not used the command line, Terminal can also be dangerous. Before getting into that, familiarize yourself with some basic Terminal commands, because any wrong command you enter can damage your system and you can easily delete files faster than you would have time to interrupt the process. The accuracy of each character, including capital letters and spaces, is important when using terminal commands. To get started, follow the steps below:

Final note

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