How to Delete a Document on a Mac: A Comprehensive Guide

Welcome Mac users! Working on a Mac can be quite a hassle-free experience, thanks to its user-friendly interface and swift processing. But when it comes to deleting a document, it can be quite confusing for some users. So in this article, we’re going to guide you on the steps to delete a document on a mac.

Steps to deleting a document on a mac

Step 1: Locate the document you want to delete

Before deleting a document on your mac, you have to find it first. To locate it, you can either go to the folder where the document is saved or go to the “Finder” on your mac’s dock and search for the document by its name.

Step 2: Select the document

Next, you’ll have to select the document you want to delete. You can either click on the document or select multiple documents at once with the “shift” key.

Step 3: Press “Command + Delete”

After selecting the document, press the “Command” key and the “Delete” key at the same time to send the document to the “Trash”.

Step 4: Right-click and select “Move to Trash”

Alternatively, you can also right-click on the document and select “Move to Trash” to send it to the “Trash”.

Step 5: Use the “Trash” Icon

If you’ve deleted a document but didn’t intend to do so, you can retrieve the document from the “Trash”. You can find the “Trash” icon on your mac’s dock. Once you click on it, you can restore the deleted documents or delete them forever.

Step 6: Use the “Empty Trash” feature

If you’re sure that you want to delete your document forever, you can select the “Empty Trash” option from the “Trash” icon. This feature deletes all the documents in your “Trash” forever.

Step 7: Use the Terminal Application

If you’re a power user, you can also delete documents using the Terminal application. You can do this by typing in “rm” and the file path of the document in your terminal window.

Step 8: Use the “Secure Empty Trash” feature

If you want to ensure that the documents you’ve deleted can’t be recovered, you can select the “Secure Empty Trash” option from the “Finder” menu. This feature overwrites all your deleted documents with random data, making it impossible for anyone to recover them.

Step 9: Use the “Finder” menu

If you’re more used to navigating your mac’s features using the “Finder” menu, you can use it to delete documents too. You can select the document you want to delete and click on “File” and then “Move to Trash”.

Step 10: Delete the documents from your iCloud Drive

If you’re using iCloud Drive, you can delete your documents from it by selecting the document and pressing the “Delete” key. The document will then be sent to the “Trash” in the iCloud Drive, and you can empty the “Trash” from there.

Step 11: Delete the documents from your Time Machine

If you have documents backed up on your Time Machine, you can delete them by selecting the document and using the “Delete” key or the “Move to Trash” option. You can then empty the “Trash” on your Time Machine.

Step 12: Empty your external drive’s trash

If you’re using an external drive and you’ve deleted documents from it, you can empty its “Trash” by opening the “Trash” on the external drive and selecting the “Empty Trash” option.


This guide on how to delete a document on a mac is essential for those who are just starting to use mac and may not be familiar with the steps involved. Deleting a document on a mac can be done in several ways; this article has described the most common methods used. This article also explains how to secure your deleted documents and how to empty your external drive’s trash.

Tips and Tricks

Tip 1: Use the “Finder” Window to Delete Documents

Pressing the “Command + Delete” keys or using the “Move to Trash” option can be time-consuming if you’re deleting multiple documents. Instead, you can use the “Finder” window and click on the documents you want to delete while holding down the “Command” key. You can then drag them to the trash icon on your dock.

Tip 2: Use the “Option” key to Restore Documents

When you’re in the “Trash” window, you can restore deleted documents by pressing the “Option” key and clicking on the “Restore” button that appears. This feature restores all the documents you’ve selected at once.

Tip 3: Use the “Smart Folders” Feature

The “Smart Folders” feature lets you create folders that have criteria-based on the keywords, dates, and other factors. You can use this feature to locate a specific document and delete it from the “Smart Folder.”

Tip 4: Use the “Command + Option + Delete” keys to Empty Trash

If you want to empty the “Trash” on your mac quickly, you can use the “Command + Option + Delete” keys together instead of right-clicking and selecting “Empty Trash.”

Tip 5: Use Automator to Delete Documents Automatically

You can use Automator on your mac to create a workflow that deletes documents that meet certain criteria automatically. This feature can come in handy if you have a lot of documents that require deleting, and you want to save time.

Tip 6: Permanently Delete Confidential Documents

If you’re dealing with sensitive information, you can ensure that deleted documents can’t be recovered by using the “Secure Empty Trash” feature or disabling the “Time Machine” feature.

Tip 7: Use the Keyboard Shortcuts

Mac allows you to use keyboard shortcuts to delete documents, making the process faster. You can use the “Command + Delete” keys to delete documents or use the “Option + Command + Delete” keys to empty the “Trash.”

Tip 8: Use a Third-Party Application

If you’re finding it difficult to delete documents on your mac or want more comprehensive features, you can use a third-party application such as “CleanMyMac”, “AppCleaner,” or “CCleaner.”

Tip 9: Delete Duplicates using “Gemini 2”

You might have many duplicate files and documents on your mac that need deleting. You can find and delete these duplicates faster by using the “Gemini 2” app.

Tip 10: Regularly Backup Your Mac

Accidentally deleting an important document can be frustrating. You can prevent this by regularly backing up your mac using the “Time Machine” feature or any other backup option available. This feature allows you to restore deleted documents from your backup.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Deleting a Document on a Mac


1. A clean and organized hard drive: Deleting unnecessary files or documents on your Mac can free up space on your hard drive, making it run smoother and more efficiently.

2. Increased security: Deleting sensitive documents on your Mac ensures that they cannot be accessed by unauthorized users, protecting your personal information and preventing identity theft.

3. Time-saving: Deleting documents you no longer need or use can save time by making it easier to find the files you do need, rather than having to sift through unnecessary clutter.

4. Improved performance: Deleting large or unused files can help improve the performance of your Mac, making it run faster and more smoothly.

5. Peace of mind: Regularly deleting documents can help you feel more organized, in control, and less stressed about the clutter on your computer.


1. Accidental deletion: It’s possible to accidentally delete important documents if you’re not careful, so always double-check what you’re deleting before hitting the delete button.

2. Permanent deletion: When you delete a file on a Mac, it is removed from the Finder and sent to the Trash. However, even if you empty the Trash, the file may still be recoverable using specialized software.

3. Loss of data: If you accidentally delete a file or folder, and it’s not in the Trash, there’s a risk that it’s gone forever. Always make sure to back up important data.

4. Irreversibility: Once you empty the Trash on your Mac, the files contained in it are permanently deleted and can’t be restored.

5. Emotional attachment: You may be emotionally attached to certain documents or files, making it hard to delete them even if they are no longer necessary.


1. How do I delete a document on a Mac?

To delete a document on a Mac, all you need to do is select the document and press the “Move to Trash” option or use the keyboard shortcut, “Command” + “Delete”.

2. Can I recover a document after deleting it on a Mac?

Yes, you can recover the document by opening the Trash folder and selecting the document. Then, right-click and choose the “Put Back” option.

3. What happens when I delete a document on a Mac?

The document is moved to the Trash folder, which holds all deleted files until it is emptied.

4. How do I empty the Trash folder?

To empty the Trash folder, right-click on the Trash icon and choose “Empty Trash” or use the keyboard shortcut, “Command” + “Shift” + “Delete”.

5. Can I delete multiple documents at once on a Mac?

Yes, you can select multiple documents and press the “Move to Trash” option or use the keyboard shortcut, “Command” + “Delete”.

6. How do I delete an application on a Mac?

To delete an application on a Mac, drag the application from the Applications folder to the Trash folder.

7. What happens when I empty the Trash folder?

All deleted documents and files are permanently erased from the computer and cannot be recovered.

8. Can I recover a document after emptying the Trash folder?

No, documents and files that have been permanently erased cannot be recovered.

9. How do I restore a document from Time Machine?

To restore a document from Time Machine, open Time Machine and navigate to the location where the file was saved. Then, select the file and click “Restore”.

10. How do I permanently delete a document on a Mac?

To permanently delete a document on a Mac, select the file and press “Command” + “Option” + “Delete”. This will bypass the Trash folder and permanently erase the file.

11. How do I delete a document from iCloud on a Mac?

To delete a document from iCloud on a Mac, select the file and press the “Move to Trash” option. This will delete the document from iCloud and the Trash folder.

12. How do I delete a document from an external hard drive on a Mac?

To delete a document from an external hard drive on a Mac, select the file and press the “Move to Trash” option. However, make sure to also empty the Trash folder before ejecting the hard drive.

13. Can I delete system files on a Mac?

No, it is not recommended to delete system files on a Mac as it can cause problems with the computer’s performance and functionality.


In conclusion, deleting a document on a Mac can be done in various ways. The most common method is by using the trash bin, which provides an easy way to recover accidentally deleted files. Other methods such as using the command line or third-party applications can also prove to be helpful. Regardless of the method, it is essential to be cautious and ensure that the right files are selected before deleting them permanently.


As you can see, deleting a document on a Mac is a simple and straightforward process that can be done using different methods. The key is to choose the method that suits your preference and take the necessary precautions before deleting files permanently. We hope this article has been helpful in guiding you on how to delete a document on your Mac. Thank you for reading and good luck with managing your Mac files!