Category Archives: Option key

How to delete a file without having to empty the trash

— How to delete a file without having to empty the trash —

You know that things you put into the trash aren’t really gone until you empty the trash, right? Turns out that in 10.11.x (El Capitan) you can throw something way and have it be deleted immediately if you want. Just click on the item you want to delete, then go to File/Move to Trash… except hold the Option key down while you do it, and you’ll see “Delete Immediately…”

Delete Immediately with the Option Key

Delete Immediately with the Option Key


You’ll still have to deal with a dialog box:
Are you sure you want to delete immediately?

Are you sure you want to delete immediately?

Keyboard Junkies: you know that Command-Delete (or Command-Backspace) sends the selected item to the Trash. So, if you hold the Option key while you do it (Command-Option-Delete) the items will be “Immediately Deleted.” Very fast– but then you have to deal with the “Are you sure” dialog box. Bonus Hint: use Command-D to click the “Delete” button in that box from the keyboard. Command-Option-Delete, then Command-D, takes care of everything.

Delete Conversations in Messages from the Keyboard

— Delete Conversations in Messages from the Keyboard —

You may have tried pressing Delete or Backspace or even the forward delete key to delete a conversation in Messages. If you’ve tried, you know they don’t work. What does work is to hold the Command key down while pressing Delete or Backspace (forward delete won’t work).

If you select a conversation (see below) and then press Command-Delete (or Backspace– depends on what your keyboard calls it) you’ll get a message asking whether you’re sure you want to delete the conversation.

Dialog box in Messages on a Mac, asking whether one wants to delete a conversation

Are you sure you want to delete this conversation?


BONUS: skip the confirmation dialog box by adding the Option key to the mix. Command-Option-Delete (or Backspace) deletes the conversation without asking whether you’re sure. So be sure!

Make the green zoom window button work the way you expect it to

— Make the green zoom window button work the way it used to —

Click the green zoom button in a Mac window and it not only gets bigger, it goes full screen– and it’s so full-screen that the menu bar’s taken away. That’s not what most of us expect– especially if you’re used to the way that button used to work (it zoomed, but it left the menu bar alone).

Turns out you can make the green button behave the zoom-but-don’t-hide-the-menu-bar way by holding the Option key down while you click it. Apple gives you a tiny visual clue that holding the Option key will give you a different result– try hovering over the green button with and without the Option key held down.

Green zoom button, without the Option key

Green zoom button, without the Option key

Zoom button with Option key held down

Zoom button with Option key held down

Sometimes bigger isn’t better. This is one of those times.

(If you click the green button without the Option key, bring the menu bar back by pressing the Escape key at top left of your keyboard. There are other ways but that’s for another post.)

BONUS: see this article for an even better way to resize your windows.

Quickest way to access Displays preference pane

Brightness

If you hold the Option key while tapping the bright/dim buttons on the keyboard, the Displays preference pane pops up. There’s no quicker way to do it.

Use Wireless Diagnostics to troubleshoot your network

Wireless Diagnostics

If your wireless network isn’t working the way it should Apple’s “Wireless Diagnostics” can help. It’s at the bottom of the WiFi menu… but only if you hold the Option key before you drop the menu. That is, press and hold the Option key, then click the WiFi menu, then slide down to “Open Wireless Diagnostics.” If you don’t hold the Option key first the Wireless Diagnostics menu item won’t be there.

My friend Tom used to say “It’s always the Option key! I should always try that first!” and he was right. That goes for you too.