Mac Tip: Delete Vs Backspace

Posted in How To on 24/12/2011 by Mark Greentree


This Mac tip is provided by Mark Greentree and was originally posted on Mark’s blog – Everyday Mac Support. For more of Mark’s tips visit his site, follow him on Twitter, or browse his archive of posts here.

How To: Delete Vs Backspace

If you’re new to the Mac platform you will have no doubt noticed some differences from the offerings of competing operating systems such as Linux and Windows.

Apple uses delete where other platforms tend to use backspace.

However, don’t get confused with the terminology. Delete does exactly the same task on a Mac as backspace does on a competing platform.

That said there are a few options for new users to consider.

On the standard Apple wireless keyboard pressing delete will remove the content before the flashing cursor to the left hand side. However, if you press the fn key and then delete it will remove content in front of the cursor towards the right.

Alternatively, users with an Apple Extended Keyboard have a dedicated delete key therefore removing the need to hit the fn key before delete.

Delete Key

Press delete to remove content to the left of the cursor.

Press fn + delete to remove content to the right of the cursor.

On Apple Extended Keyboards there is a dedicated delete key.


Mark Greentree

Mark Greentree is the principle blogger and podcast creator of Everyday Mac Support. His aim is to inform users at all levels of experience how to get the most out of the Apple hardware and associated software. He is the lead host of Not Another Mac Podcast, an Apple based round table discussion with Mac users and experts from all over world.