Macs All-in-One For Dummies
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If you've got a lot of files and folders on your Mac, you want to clean up every once in a while to stay organized and make it easier to find specific items.
  • First, locate any files or folders that you want to delete. You just click to highlight file and drag it into the handy trash can at the dock at the bottom of the screen. If you change your mind or make a mistake, you can type Command + Z at the same time to undo the last action. Select the file you'd like to get rid of and to drag it down into the trash.

  • Now before you empty all the items in the trash permanently, it's always smart to take a look at the contents of the trash bin and make sure you didn't accidentally toss in something important. Just double click on the trash icon at the dock to open the finder window that shows the contents. If there's something in there that you don't want to delete, you can click on it and drag it back to a safe location. Otherwise, to empty the trash, press the Command + shift + delete at the same time or you can go up to the finder option, in the top navigation and select empty trash.

  • Now you can only empty the trash when the focus in on the finder. If you're at another application and you try to use command + shift + delete, it won't work. You'll get quick confirmation warning to keep you from doing something. Maybe your cat walked across the keyboard and hit Command + shift + delete. If you're sure it's safe to get rid of the files for good, click ok and everything in the trash will be permanently deleted.

  • If you don't want to confirm “yes” every single time you delete files from the trash, just go back to the finder menu and select preferences. Then in the preferences window, choose advanced and uncheck the box to show warning before emptying the trash. Now you won't get that prompt any more when you empty the trash bin.

And that's how you take out the trash in Mac OS X Leopard. If only cleaning your house were this easy.

About This Article

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About the book authors:

Joe Hutsko has been writing about computers, gadgets, and video games for over 20 years. He worked at Apple from 1984 to 1988. Barbara Boyd is a coauthor of multiple editions of iPhone All-in-One For Dummies. Boyd worked at Apple from 1985 to 1990. Jesse Feiler is a developer, web designer, trainer, and author. He has worked with mobile devices starting with Apple’s Newton and continuing with the Apple’s iOS and OS X products, including the iPhone and iPad. He is heard regularly on WAMC Public Radio’s The Roundtable. Doug Sahlin operates a professional photography business specializing in event and portrait photography. He's the best-selling author of more than 20 books on computer applications such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Acrobat. He's written four books on digital photography. Sahlin also writes mysteries.

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