Interesting Finder additions in OS X El Capitan

3 October 2015, 03:22

There’s a couple of curious and potentially useful additions to Finder in OS X El Capitan – and for some reason quite a lot of them are related to Trash management:

  • Delete individual files from the Trash: Open the Trash and you can right-click an individual file or folder, then select Delete Immediately to permanently delete just that, rather than having to empty all the trash.
  • Copy pathnames: By holding down the Option key (Alt on some keyboards) after right-clicking a file or folder, you’ll see an option to Copy XX As Pathname. This copies to the clipboard the path of the file as text.
  • Delete a file immediately: By selecting a file and tapping Option+Cmd+Backspace (Alt+Cmd+Backspace on some keyboards), you can delete it immediately – without sending it to the Trash. Hold down Option (Alt) while clicking the File menu after selecting a file or folder and this option also appears halfway down.
  • Secure Erase Trash no longer possible: This might be limited to Macs with solid state storage (let me know in the comments below) but right-clicking the Dock’s Trash icon and holding down Option (Alt on some keyboards) no longer offers an option to Secure Empty Trash. This is because secure erasing is futile on solid state storage.
  • Sort by origin in Trash: You can now sort the contents of the Trash by the volume the files were deleted from (i.e. USB stick, hard disk, network drive etc). Just click View > Arrange by > Volume. Coupled with the topmost tip describing how to individually delete files in the Trash, this offers the opportunity to erase the entire Trash on just your USB stick, for example.
  • Rename files: Believe it or not it’s taken since 1984 for the Mac to get a Rename option on the menu that appears when you right-click a file. It’s there now in El Cap. It also appears in File Save dialog boxes when you right-click files/folders! (Okay, so you couldn’t right-click files on early Macs – but you understand my sarcasm.)
  • File tag indicators are now bigger: The circular colour indicators that appear alongside tagged files and folders in Finder’s list and column modes are now bigger, so easier to spot.

Know better?