When I select the file and push delete this file is automatically landing in the trash. How can I delete files bypassing trash without using a mouse?

  • It is really easy to shut off in Raspbian - a simple preference. But in Ubuntu they have kept it this way for a LONG time. Nobody has ever explained why. In any case, 6 years after this question was asked, it is now July 2017 and in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, this is the best you can do: First, go to Appearances and set it so the menu will show up in the window title, then go to the File Manager and select Homes/ Press Alt-E then pick Preferences and there is an option there to turn on a Delete option under Move to Trash in the context menu of files or directories.
    – SDsolar
    Jul 29, 2017 at 5:27

3 Answers 3


Select the files and leave SHIFT pressed while pressing the DELETE button or option.

Example: Select with CTRL several files while clicking on them.

Leave SHIFT pressed while pressing the DELETE button will delete them permanently.

To select multiple files. Click the first file and then leave SHIFT pressed while selecting the last file you want to select. It is the same thing as dragging the mouse while pressing the left mouse button.


In Nautilus -> Preferences select the following

alt text

to have the option to delete files rather than putting to trash in the right-click context menu.

  • Hey Takkat you shouldn't adapt my question to fit your answer! I asked clearly. Delete file using keyboard.
    – vrcmr
    Dec 26, 2010 at 0:36
  • 5
    If by "adapt my question" you mean the revision of the title, Takkat did not do that. Look at the revision history for details. In my opinion the revision did make the question more understandable (and more importantly, more Googleable). askubuntu.com/posts/18863/revisions
    – msw
    Dec 26, 2010 at 3:36
  • 5
    @alfalive: At the time of my answer I couldn't see anything related to "keyboard only" in your question. As this was already perfecty anwerded by CYREX I felt that a reference to standard Nautilus settings is badly missing. Unfortunately from your last edit of your question my answer looks pretty off topic now. Please consider that other people may also read this ;)
    – Takkat
    Dec 26, 2010 at 7:33

Without using a mouse, you can delete (bypassing trash) straight from the command line, if you're comfortable doing that.

  1. Open a terminal window.
  2. Use the cd command to change directory to where the file is.
  3. Use the ls command to list the files in the directory you've changed into, to make sure you're looking at the right place. (Use ls | less if the output is too long to read; then q will quit from reading the list and back to the terminal.)
  4. Use the rm -v command to verbosely remove the file (deleting it, bypassing trash).
  5. If you get errors: rm -Rfv is necessary to forcibly Recursively remove a directory. And rm -fv will force other deletions that are sticking against your will.

For example:

me@mypc:~$ cd /home/steven/Downloads/
me@mypc:/home/steven/Downloads$ ls
me@mypc:/home/steven/Downloads$ rm -v file14
'removed 'file14'

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .