What does 'Delete permanently' do?

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by xetmarcr, May 24, 2018.

  1. xetmarcr macrumors member

    xetmarcr

    Joined:
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    NV
    #1
    I'm running El Capitan 10.11.6 on a Mac Pro (early 2009). In Finder I can right-click on a file and one of the options is 'Delete Permanently'.

    What exactly does that do to the file? I notice that my Macbook Pro with Sierra 10.12.6 does not have that option. Does it replace the 'Secure Empty Trash' option that was removed from El Capitan?

    Thanks!
     
  2. jbarley macrumors 68040

    jbarley

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    #2
    Methinks you might have "XtraFinder" installed, as that is one of their menu addons.
    In fact it's the only time I've ever seen it, although other utilities might also include it.
    What it does is delete the file immediately, by passing the Trash Can.

    Screen Shot 2018-05-24 at 4.51.54 PM.png
    Screen Shot 2018-05-24 at 4.51.13 PM.png
     
  3. xetmarcr thread starter macrumors member

    xetmarcr

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    Nov 9, 2014
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    #3
    Thanks for the info, but I do not have XtraFinder or any other 3rd party Finder app installed. I'm referring to Mac Finder. In the File drop down menu, holding the Option key changes 'Move to Trash' to 'Delete Immediately'. The 'Delete Permanently' option is at the bottom of the right-click menu.
     

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  4. NoBoMac macrumors 68000

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    Jul 1, 2014
    #4
    Nothing special about that option other than not sending the item to the Trash. Like it says, immediate delete ala *nix "rm" command, no undo/restore. No secure erase options.
     
  5. xetmarcr thread starter macrumors member

    xetmarcr

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    #5
    OK, thanks. Is that different from 'Delete immediately'?
     
  6. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #6
    I have never seen that option. The fact that it is placed at the bottom of the menu suggests that it originates in a third-party app. Open System Preferences → Keyboard → Shortcuts → Services and look for the option there. Then right-click on it and click “Show in Finder” to see where it comes from.
     
  7. xetmarcr thread starter macrumors member

    xetmarcr

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    #7
    I don't know what third-party app it is from, but that option is located here:
     

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  8. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #8
    It is definitely user-based. You can open workflow files with the Automator app to see what they do. If you don’t need this workflow, you can also just ditch it. That may be sensible anyway, since you don’t seem to know where it comes from. If it’s malicious, it would be easy to inadvertently execute this.
     
  9. xetmarcr thread starter macrumors member

    xetmarcr

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2014
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    NV
    #9
    Since it's not an included menu option in El Capitan I'll take a look at it in Automator, but I expect it will most likely be discarded.

    Thank you for that info.
     
  10. TiggrToo macrumors demi-goddess

    TiggrToo

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    #10
    A normal delete drops it into the Trash, allowing it to be easily recovered. A permanent delete would skip the Trash and can be considered the same as emptying the trash.

    The method of permanent deletion is dependent on the app in question:
    • Some will just call the requisite OS call to skip the trash.
    • Others will zero byte the file in question (writing 0x0 in every byte) that can bypass the side-effect of TRIM enabled drives leaving the blocks potentially readable later.
    • A few will try to 'shred' the file (the process of writing multiple random values over the file) - however that's no needed these days if you have an SSD and was only of value in spinning platters where the zero-byte procedure wouldn't necessarily prevent someone from attempting to forensically retrieving the 'magnetic residue' of the contents at a very low level. SSD's are pure digital and so do not need these method of constant wiping of files.
     
  11. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 603

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #11
    If the file / folder is on a NAS drive or other external volume which does not support the OS X / macOS ".Trash"-folder, then it is normal that you see this option.
     

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