The Trash

No single element of the Macintosh interface is as recognizable or famous as the Trash can, which now appears at the end of the Dock.

You can discard almost any icon by dragging it onto the Trash icon (which actually resembles a wastebasket, not a trash can, but let’s not quibble). When the tip of your arrow cursor touches the Trash icon, the little wastebasket turns black. When you release the mouse, you’re well on your way to discarding whatever it was you dragged. As a convenience, Mac OS X even replaces the empty-wastebasket icon with a wastebasket-filled-with-crumpled-up-papers icon, to let you know there’s something in there.

Tip

Learn the keyboard alternative to dragging something to the Trash: highlight the icon and then press The Trash-Delete. This technique is not only far faster than dragging, but requires far less precision, especially if you have a large screen. Mac OS X does all the Trash-targeting for you.

Rescuing Files and Folders from the Trash

File and folder icons sit in the Trash forever—or until you choose FinderEmpty Trash, whichever comes first.

If you haven’t yet emptied the Trash, you can open its window by clicking the wastebasket icon once. Now you can review its contents: icons that you’ve placed on the waiting list for extinction. If you change your mind, you can rescue any of these items by dragging them out of the Trash window.

Tip

If dragging something to ...

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