Wondering how to get rid of old files on Mac forever? Maybe these are the files that you don’t need anymore and want to free up some extra space for upgrading to the next operating system version? Or you want to resell or donate your device and are worried about sensitive data security and privacy? Or you are just concerned that someone may steal your Mac and that your data can be hijacked?
No matter your reason, here you’ll find a few tips on how you can permanently delete files from your Mac. Read the article to learn more about different methods.
What Are Common Methods of Deleting Files on Mac?
The most popular method is moving unnecessary files to Trash. You can just drag the files to Trash. Another way to do it is right-clicking the chosen file and selecting the Move to Trash option. After that, you need to open the Trash folder and select the file using Control-Click.
Then you have to click Delete Immediately. If you want to delete all files that are in the Trash bin, you need to click Empty Trash. You see everything is quite simple.
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You should keep in mind that all files that you move to the Trash remain there until you empty the Trash. You can do it straight away or go Finder and then to Preferences. Then you should select to automatically empty the Trash in 30 days.
Another way of finding and deleting files on Mac is using a built-in storage manager. You can use this macOS app to locate different files, apps, documents, books, films, backups, and other items that you would like to delete from your device.
You also have an opportunity to sort the items by category and find out how much space each file or folder is using.
Here is how you can find files and delete them with the storage manager.
- Select the Apple menu and go to About This Mac.
- Click the Storage tab and then press the Manage button.
- Navigate the sidebar to select different categories. Then just choose and delete the items that you don’t need any more.
Is Possible to Retrieve Files Once They Are Deleted?
Thanks to data recovery technology, it is possible to recover deleted files and restore them. It’s a good thing because anyone may delete important files accidentally. But that also means that someone else may retrieve any file you deleted from a hard drive.
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Now, most new Macs come with flash storage – solid-state-drives (SSDs). If your computer has an SSD, you’ll need to make fewer efforts to securely delete any file. That’s because solid-state-drives work in a different way than hard drives. Mac models with SSDs allow you to use a standard method of emptying the Trash to erase files, and no one will be able to recover the files erased from an SSD-based Mac.
But when it comes to Macs with HDDs, the situation is entirely different. Even if you get rid of files by emptying the Trash bin or use other similar techniques, it’s still quite possible to recover those files using advanced data recovery tools if no new information has been written on the freed space.
H2: How to Delete Files Permanently
No matter what type of files you want to delete from your Mac, the process will actually always be the same.
But even after you empty your Trash folder, it’s quite possible to recover the deleted data on your Mac’s HDD. The only reliable method to fully eliminate the deleted data is to write new information over it.
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There are different third-party apps that can help you make your files gone forever. You can use such an app if you are handling sensitive information like passwords or email details or are preparing your device for sale.
The app will delete all the required files and will randomly overwrite data to prevent the possibility of data retrieval.
As you see, it’s rather easy to permanently remove unnecessary files from a Mac, although you will need to make an extra effort if your Mac is using an HDD as a storage media.
Bur before you proceed, you should make sure that you are going to delete files, which you really want to get rid of.