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bay mac's help desk with Steve Paris

Q: I’m terrible when it comes to sorting my files on my Mac. Recently, I discovered I had thousands of files in my bin which I’ve never emptied – it cleared up a LOT of space on my hard drive and sped up my computer to boot! Is there a way for an absent minded person like me to not have to suffer the embarrassment of an unnecessarily bloated hard drive?

A: I can think of two options. The first one would involve you not doing anything differently once set up: open a Finder window, then go to the Menu Bar and select Finder > Preferences. Click on Advanced, and tick ‘Remove items from the Bin after 30 days’. The command is self-explanatory and should sort you out.

But there’s another option – one which could be a bit more risky if you see the bin as a failsafe in case you accidentally threw away something, because you can retrieve it from there (just like a real bin). But if you’re certain, absolutely certain you want to delete a file, folder, anything really, you can bypass the bin altogether. Select an item you wish to delete, then click on ‘File’ in the Menu Bar. Locate the ‘Move to Bin’ command but don’t click on it. Now press the Option key. That command will change to ‘Delete Immediately’. You’ll have a couple of failsafe menus you must click on to confirm your decision, but once done, the item is deleted and there’s no going back.

Steve Paris is an internationally published writer, an Apple Certified Trainer, and provides consultancy, training and troubleshooting services to the Swansea area. You can email him at or contact him on 077-8866-0407.



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