In earlier versions of OS X, in Preview one could delete the currently open file by pressing ⌘⌫. In Lion, the keyboard shortcut (as well as the actual menu item) no longer works.

Is there any way to delete this file directly from Preview, in OS X Lion?

  • It's impossible, which is incredibly stupid UX. Commented Dec 16, 2022 at 7:05

3 Answers 3


Edit: apparently the menu item is still disabled when a window that doesn't have a sidebar is focused. It is not disabled in windows that have a sidebar though, so you could just open two or more images in the same window:

  • 1
    Not fixed in Mountain Lion. I have a brand new MBP with MtnLion. Still has the problem. Commented Dec 7, 2012 at 17:26
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    Still not fixed in Mavericks! Too bad Apple managed to ruin a little but helpful feature! Commented Nov 7, 2013 at 17:03

It doesn't like like there is a very good way of directly deleting the file. One shortcut that might help you quickly find the file so you can delete it is that if you command-click the title bar, the directory stack will show up. Selecting the top entry (the file itself) will open a finder window with the file highlighted. From there, you can command-delete it.

  • Thanks; I didn't know this trick, and it's good enough for my use-case. Commented Aug 23, 2011 at 22:43

Although this is an old question it's still the top result for searches on this query.

The problem people seem to be having is that it's not the Delete button symbol in the Edit menu it's the backspace. (Face's left not right)

Command + Backspace deletes a file from anywhere.

  • 2
    Delete = ⌫ = backspace on Windows, forward delete = ⌦ = delete on Windows. The menu item was always disabled in 10.7.
    – Lri
    Commented Dec 13, 2012 at 9:21
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    Indeed but alot of people seem to be confused by the fact that a full Apple Keyboard has a button marked delete which does in some circumstances work as delete but in others requires backspace.
    – Flatlyn
    Commented Dec 13, 2012 at 16:49
  • It has nothing to deal with forward/backward deletes - it's a feature that was removed in later versions of macOS. It's pretty annoying. Commented Aug 9, 2021 at 7:54
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    @LesterCheung: Apple doesn't give a shit. More than a year later, you still can't delete the file open in Preview. This is beyond stupid. Commented Dec 16, 2022 at 7:01
  • 1
    You are not wrong @DanDascalescu 😅 Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 14:33

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