Updated: 06/22/2018 by Computer Hope

Delete may refer to any of the following:

Delete1. In general, delete or remove refers to the act of eliminating a file, text, or another object from the computer hard drive or other media. For example, if you had a picture on the computer you no longer wanted, it could be deleted.

What happens when you delete?

Files deleted in Microsoft Windows are sent to the Recycle 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.

Related pages

Delete key2. 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.

Note: With some keyboards, the delete key may be labeled as a clear key.

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. With Apple keyboards that have a numeric keypad, there will be a clear button instead of a Del key. If you have a Chromebook see where is the delete key on a Chromebook section below.

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.

How many delete keys are on the keyboard?

On desktop computer keyboards there are two delete keys on the keyboard. On laptop computers with no numeric keypad, there is only one delete key on the keyboard. If you have a Chromebook, there are no delete keys.

Where is the delete key on a Chromebook?

There is no delete key on Chromebooks. However, if you need the functionality of a delete key, you can press the keyboard shortcut Alt+Backspace to delete on a Chromebook.

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

With a PC keyboard that has a backspace key, 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.

3. Delete is a command line command that removes data or files. Below is a list of different methods for deleting a file or directory from a command line.

  • MS-DOS and Windows command line users can delete files using the del, deltree, or erase commands.
  • Linux and Unix users can delete files using the rm command.
  • See how to use FTP for information about delete and other FTP commands.

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.

Backspace, Bitbucket, Clear, Control keys, Discard, Erase, Expunge, Keyboard terms, Kill, Mdelete, Negate, Purge, Scratch, Software terms, Terminate, Uninstall