How to truly delete a file in Mac OS X

Securely Empty TrashMost people aren’t aware that when you empty the trash in Mac OS X, you aren’t actually deleting a file. It’s true. Selecting Empty Trash from the Finder menu, or using the Command + Shift + Delete keyboard shortcut simply marks the chosen files or folders in a way that allows the system to overwrite them whenever it needs to. The actual files remain on your hard drive until the system actually writes another file on top of them.

In order to truly delete a file or folder, you must use Mac OS X’s Secure Empty Trash command under the Finder menu. When you use this method to empty your trash, the system actually overwrites the file with gibberish data, mostly ensuring your file is unrecoverable.

Securely Empty TrashIf you’re concerned about security, you can set Mac OS X to always securely delete your files when you empty the trash the normal way by going to your menubar and choosing Finder>Preferences, and turning on the Empty Trash Securely item.

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