OS X El Capitan beta’s ‘Delete Immediately’ feature

“Oh, El Capitan,” Melissa Holt writes for The Mac Observer. “It’s the little things that make me love you.”

“In this case, it’s the way you’ll let me delete files immediately (bypassing the trash!) and remove single items from the trash without having to empty it,” Holt writes. “That’s pretty cool, right? It may not be particularly innovative of Apple to add this feature, but hey, I’m just happy to have the option, guys.”

Holt writes, “So first, let’s talk about Finder’s new ‘nuke it from orbit’ menu option…”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: How do you delete file on your Mac? We use the keyboard – Apple (Splat)-Delete – and then the mouse/trackpad secondary-click to Empty Trash when we get around to it.


  1. It it doesn’t have the option to delete all the associated files like app cleaner, then it’s a useless feature. Emptying my trash a couple a times a week is not hard.

  2. “We use the keyboard – Apple (Splat)-Delete – and then the mouse/trackpad secondary-click to Empty Trash when we get around to it.”

    I continue to use the keyboard, CMD/SHFT/DEL. But, it will be nice to have the delete immediately after that first keystrokes, although I’m sure someone will mention Windows has had this functionality forever….

    1. The more I have used computers over the years the less of a fan I have become of using the mouse for file management. Most non-graphics programs should have keyboard shortcuts for everything. It’s just a lot faster for experienced users.

      Don’t get me wrong. For CAD and art generation a mouse or tablet is essential.

      1. For most graphics based programs there are still many, many ways to use the keyboard to save time. Some of which do not utilize the Apple key, but use just one key (for tool selection).

        Most of the programs will show you the key to press if you hover over the desired tool. A little letter will pop up meaning if you were to press that letter, you would select that tool.

        Probably sounds like over kill, but once you get the hang of it you’ll never go back. I actually have a hard time locating some tools and/or menu functions because I hardly ever access them using the mouse, and sometimes the tool bars get in the way.

    2. You’ll still get the “Are you sure you want to permanently erase the items in the Trash?” prompt… So you have to hit return.

      So here’s the gnarliest of the gnarly:

      Apple + Delete to put something in the trash.

      Apple + Opt + Shift + Delete = Empties trash without any prompt or confirmation needed.

      It looks as if it’s getting too long and complex for a keyboard command, but really the first three keys are right next to each other.

  3. Nice feature. Now if Apple would only implement a Maximize option.


    If Apple offers a cursor shake option why not offer a Maximize option. At least this option has been desired for over ten years.

      1. in my case, those green button only makes the window resize into two sizes, size 1 and 2 back and forth but neither of those size are maximum window size.
        That’s BetterTouchTools are the current solution, you can drag the window on top of the screen and it will solve every comment on this page.

  4. Usually, because my hand is already on the mouse when managing files, I right-click on file (or selection of files), then Move to Trash from contextual menu. Unless a file is giga-sized, I don’t worry about emptying the trash until “later.”

    In Yosemite, Cmd-Opt-Del is “delete immediately” (bypassing Trash).

    Also in Yosemite, if you show Trash in Finder window, right-clicking on a single file shows “Delete Immediately” on contextual menu. That one file is deleted without emptying Trash.

      1. Been asking for that for years now……I doubt we will ever see that happen now that its integrated with Split View, etc. Would be nice to have the option to control how that button works in Sys Prefs somewhere though and have asked for that as well.

        1. Personally here, mainly for me it would be with Safari or something. I can’t stand when people have a small window open and browsing the internet that way. I always open it fill the screen, the full screen drives me nuts because you are locked into it then and takes a second or so to go into it and come out of it. Being able to resize windows on every side helps with that now, but I’d still like to see the green button work to fill the screen and not go full screen like it works now. The best option would be to let the user choose how they want to use it and have a pref setting somewhere.

          1. And I hate it when people browse the internet with the browser filled the screen, especially on widescreen monitors. Webpages with flexible line lengths on their texts (lots of forums) generate hard-to-read lengths this way. I prefer a narrow and tall browser window to keep the text in it readable.

            Even though, in Yosemite, you can double-click on the title bar of the window to maximize the window without going fullscreen. Same does option-click on the green button. In Finder windows, the maximizing is dependent on the content. It’s usually not going filled-screen, but as big as it needs to be to maximize the contents. If you’re viewing a folder with only a few files in it, it fill go as large as all files visible.

    1. Some and myself included throw stuff in the trash to get rid of it and off the desktop, but there are times you wan too hold off emptying the trash. This is where this feature comes in handy, you can delete a file/folder immediately without emptying everything in the trash in one or two steps. I don’t like that dialog box coming up.

  5. The same as MDN

    I’m not sure the Delete Immediately feature is a good idea.
    It should never be too easy to delete stuff. There should always be a take back from the “oh, I didn’t mean to do that!”

    If “Undo” works, well I guess that’s something.

    1. Actually, the older Mac users DO call it the “Splat Key.”

      The looped square (⌘) is a symbol consisting of a square with outward pointing loops at its corners. It is used on Apple keyboards as the symbol for the command key. Splat refers to the key on a Mac keyboard that’s officially called the Command key. Some old-school Mac nerds call it the “splat” key, because the symbol sort of looks like something that went “splat.”


  6. Well, if it works it will be received with huge enthusiasm. Because Yosemite JUST DOESN’T WORK.

    I have ordered an Ethernet cable because none of my three Macs can sustain a wifi connection to enable a Skype conversation of more than a few minutes.

    For the first time since 2002 I am telling people to buy Windows instated of Mac.

  7. Don’t let Granny learn about this new feature. She’ll be calling me Day and Night about stuff she didn’t really mean to throw away. (o_0) There’s a reason why throwing stuff in the trash and emptying the trash are TWO separate steps.

  8. Am I the only one who adds the optional move to trash button on the top of my finder window? Moves whatever’s selected to the trash with one click. Just surprised nobody’s mentioned it yet.

  9. For several years I have set my trash to not ask me if I really want to empty it. As a result, I never put anything in the trash that I didn’t mean to delete. I don’t hoard. Having a delete immediately feature will be great.

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