You are here: >


Delete1. In general, delete or remove refers to the act of eliminating a file, text, or other object from the computer hard drive or other media.

What happens when you delete?

Files deleted in Microsoft Windows are sent to the Recycling Bin. On Apple computers, deleted files are sent to the Trash. In most operating systems, when files are deleted, they are only marked as such, but still exist on the hard drive until they are overwritten by other data. This condition is what makes data recovery possible.

Where is the Del or Delete key on the keyboard?

Below is an overview of a computer keyboard with the Delete keys highlighted in blue on the main keyboard as well as the numeric keypad.

Enter key

Note: Apple computer keyboards have a "delete" key instead of a Backspace key and no Del key on the numeric keypad.

Does the delete key remove text from the left or right of cursor?

With a PC keyboard that has a backspace when you press the delete key it removes text to the right over the cursor. On an Apple keyboard that has a delete key in place of the backspace key when this key is pressed it removes text to the left of the cursor.

Practice using the Del key

Click in the middle of the text in the below box and press the Del key to practice using the key.

Tip: Press and hold down Ctrl and press Del to delete one full word at a time, instead of deleting one character at a time.

2. A command that is used to delete or remove data or files. Below is a list of different methods for deleting a file.

Delete key3. DEL is both a common abbreviation for delete and a key on a computer keyboard. It is sometimes used in combination with other keys to perform certain actions on a computer, also known as shortcut keys. For example, CTRL + ALT + DEL indicates that you should press the Ctrl, Alt, and Delete keys at the same time. The picture is an example of the delete key found on an Apple computer.

4. When writing HTML, the <del> tag is used to indicate that a block of text has been deleted from a web page. In some cases, the <ins> tag would then be used to indicate the new text being added in place of the deleted text.

Also see: Backspace, Bit bucket, Clear, Control keys, Discard, Erase, Expunge, Kill, Mdelete, Negate, Purge, Terminate, Uninstall