How to Delete Files on Mac OS X Permanently

How to Delete Files on Mac OS X Permanently

When we delete files and folders on Mac and then empty Trash, it is possible to recover the deleted files if no new information has been recorded on the freed space, so the file can be easily restored.


The Most Popular Methods of Deleting Files on Mac

There are several methods of permanently deleting files on Mac. Let’s take a look at each of them.

Permanently deleting files on Mac via Trash

The easiest, but not the most reliable way to permanently remove files is enabling Emptying Trash Securely.

This is how you do it:

  • Open Finder.
  • In the dropdown menu bar, click Preferences.
  • Go to the Advanced tab and enable Empty Trash Securely.

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Now, when you empty Trash, the data will be deleted irretrievably. BUT, there is a possibility that the files deleted in this way can be recovered with the help of special applications. So be careful when choosing how to delete files!

Deleting files with Disk Utility

Using Disk Utility to delete files is not the fastest or most convenient way to delete files and folders.

To remove files with Disk Utility, you need to:

  1. Disable all active applications.

  2. Go to Finder, find and run Disk Utility. On the left, you will see a list of internal and external (if there are any) drives. In this case, we are interested in Macintosh HD.

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  3. Select Macintosh HD

  4. Press Erase and then Erase Free Space.

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  5. In the window that opens, select the number of erase passes (the level of security). The parameter determines how many times the app will pass over free disk space. It is recommended that you choose the medium number, which is usually enough.

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  6. Then press Erase Free Space. It starts the process.

This method, like the previous one, does not guarantee that the deleted files will be impossible to recover.

Deleting files with CleanMyMac 3

The last method that we want to tell you about is deleting files using CleaMyMac 3. In our opinion, it is the most reliable and handy method for Mac users.

First, you need to install the application that can be downloaded here:

Now that CleanMyMac3 is installed, let’s start the process of deleting the files you don’t need.

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  1. Find Shredder on the left side of the interface.

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  2. Now select the files that you want deleted with the Select Files button.
  3. The application prompts you to select the files to be deleted. You mark the place where the data is stored, then select the files and click Open.

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    The application displays the selected files to be removed in the main interface window.

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  4. If you forgot to add a file, you can use the Add Files button and add more files to the list. At the bottom of the main window, you can choose two ways to delete files: Remove Immediately/Remove Securely. The choice is up to you.

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  5. Once you have picked the files to be removed, press Shred. CleanMyMac 3 will ask you to confirm. If you did not change your mind and still want to delete the files, click Shred again.
    If you realize that you have chosen a wrong file to be deleted, select Cancel, then right-click on the file you want to keep and select Remove From List in the dropdown menu.

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    CleanMyMac 3 will remove the file from the list. Then click Shred again and delete the data you don’t need.

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That's how you can quickly clear the data you don’t need, free up disk space, and be sure that the deleted files will never be recovered.

CleanMyMac 3 does not just delete files, it overwrites the access point (that makes it possible to recover files), the data is overwritten randomly to prevent the recovery of files.

Shredder permanently deletes all the files you selected and eliminates the possibility of their recovery.