I own a first generation MacBook Air and this has bothered me since the beginnings.

When I bought this thing, I was sure I'm not going to carry a DVD drive. I don't use it. WiFi has worked pretty well for me so far and in fact, lack of optical drive was the least problem I had with it (the worst was the heat and CPU frequency reduction).

But there's a useless eject key right in a place suited for a great delete key (the real delete, in PC terminology, of course). It'll help a lot when you're developing in Xcode. I feel it's handled at a lower level than standard keyboard shortcuts. Is there any way to remap it to delete?

  • The real delete is called forward delete on a Mac. But that doesn't help you of course. ;-)
    – Arjan
    Jul 15, 2009 at 15:29
  • @Arjan, Mac is screwed up when it comes to productivity.
    – Pacerier
    Aug 22, 2017 at 22:51

4 Answers 4


Not related to remapping, but Ctrl D will do a forward delete in most OS X text fields.

  • 1
    Ack, I wouldn't want to get into the habit of typing <kbd>ctrl D</kbd> or I'd type it at the command line...
    – Ether
    Dec 13, 2009 at 8:19
  • 1
    does forward delete on command line too. It doesn't send EOF unless you're at the end of the line.
    – cobbal
    Dec 17, 2009 at 8:01
  • this is saviour, fn+delete is always stressful for hands May 23, 2016 at 10:38

I have no experience with the application myself, but perhaps DoubleCommand can help you?


According to their website, KeyRemap4MacBook should be able to map the Eject button to a forward delete.

This MacRumors forum also has a thread on the same subject.

  • It doesn't support eject key.
    – mmx
    Jul 15, 2009 at 9:11
  • You may be able to edit the source so it does: I use a custom version of DoubleCommand that maps Caps Lock to Escape, for instance. Jul 15, 2009 at 10:43
  • 1
    KeyRemap4MacBook (together with NoEjectDelay) works but the problem is, you can't hold eject to delete a long string. It just removes a single character each time.
    – mmx
    Aug 5, 2009 at 22:56

I also dislike using fn for any key, so I basically stopped using Forward Delete altogether. When I need the Forward Delete I often hold down Shift and use the cursor keys to make a selection, and then press Delete. Actually, I do this for every text I want to delete -- those cursor keys go into all directions. :-)

  • Wow, apparently I down-voted this, but I have no recollection of doing so. And now it's too late to undo it. Sorry :( Nov 29, 2009 at 22:27
  • You don't have to shift select. Just do rightkey and delete. For multiple chars, its faster to fly to the location using win/opt arrow and then followed by win/opt delete. Shift key is annoying.
    – Pacerier
    Aug 22, 2017 at 22:56

Karabiner (which replaced KeyRemap4MacBook) does provide a means to remap the Eject key. Just tested it with El Capitan GM, and it works fine.

  • And like karabiner says: the eject key has a delay. Use NoEjectDelay to get rid of the delay.
    – Cristan
    Aug 5, 2016 at 9:19
  • I don't find the eject key in the simple modification list Jan 11, 2018 at 13:49

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