Guides Mac Tips

How to Delete One File at a Time in Trash

I’m trying to find out how to delete individual files from the Trash, instead of just all of them at once. I recall that Windows XP allowed this, and I always found it convenient.
Well, you really shouldn’t use your Trash as storage, so we’re first going to encourage you not to put anything in there that you aren’t intending to delete at some point. Mac OS X doesn’t natively allow you to delete Trash files one at a time. In fact, if you open the Trash and try to delete individual files from there, they’re actually “removed” from the Trash…and put back where you had them before. (This is also accomplished by right-clicking a file in the Trash and choosing Put Back.) 
Deleting MP3s one at a time. With the Terminal. Now that’s nerdy.
But since you found it convenient in XP, there’s a way you can do this. Open the Terminal (/Applications/Utilities) and type rm and a space. Then drag the file you want to delete from the Trash to the Terminal window. That adds its file path to the command. Press Return to execute it, and the file will be deleted instantly. Use this at your own risk!