Remove Text When Delete Key Not Working on Mac

4 Quick Ways You Can Delete Text When Delete Key is Not Working on Mac

Probably every person who has typed on any electronic device like a computer, mobile phone, etc., has used the Delete key as it is one of the perks of digital writing. It has never been so simple and quick to edit a text. Before digital computing, people used to write with typewriters or on paper with a pen, which could take up some time. It is common to make mistakes when you are writing or typing, so to have clean text on a paper, people would have to rewrite or retype the whole text.

Thanks to digital writing and various text editing software, you can make as many mistakes as you like as it will take a second to delete it and edit the text while writing. Maybe you are typing an essay or entering a website address, or writing a comment on someone's social media post and make silly, you can instantly position your cursor next to the word and delete it with a few presses on the Delete key.

Remove Text When Delete Key Not Working on Mac

Delete key on your keyboard is presumably one of the most used keys on your keyboard, as it is usually the first thing we press when we want to delete not only text but also a file or other objects like images from a document file and so on. A standard Delete key deletes one character at a time to the left side from the cursor. By pressing additional keys on the keyboard together with the Delete key, you can make it delete characters to the right side.

On most Apple keyboards, the Delete key is also labeled as the Backspace key. On your Mac keyboard, the Delete key is usually marked with the arrow pointing to the left side with an x mark inside it. On MacBooks, the delete function is achieved by pressing fn and the Backspace keys on your keyboard as it does not have a separate Delete key. The delete key was not added to the MacBook keyboard for the purpose of saving space.

As for many, the Delete key is an essential feature that is used daily. Unfortunately, sometimes your keyboard keys might get damaged or have a manufacturing defect and stop working. It can be hard functioning without a proper Delete key. But do not worry, there a few alternatives to you can use while your physical keyboard is being fixed or while you replace it with a new one.

Below you will find four different methods of how you can delete text and more without a functioning Delete key on your keyboard.

Table of Contents:

How to Delete Text Using a Mouse or Trackpad

The most known and obvious method is to delete text on your Mac by using your mouse or a trackpad.

To delete text using a mouse or a trackpad, follow the steps below:

1. With your mouse or a trackpad, select the text you want to delete.
2. Then, right-click (if using a mouse) or use a two-finger tap (if using a trackpad) on the selection.
3. When the secondary menu appears, click on "Cut".

Cut text

Suppose you want to write something different instead of deleting the text. In that case, you can just start writing a different text when the current text is selected, and it will get deleted automatically.

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How to Delete Text With Virtual Keyboard

If you are having issues with your physical keyboard, you can use a virtual keyboard on your Mac screen and use it instead until you get the physical one fixed or replaced.

To delete text using a virtual keyboard, follow the steps below:

1. In the upper menu, click on the Apple logo.
2. Then, when the secondary menu appears, click on "System Preferences".
3. In the "System Preferences" window, locate and click on "Keyboard".

Go to keyboard settings

4. Go to the "Input Sources" tab and check the box next to "Show Input menu in menu bar".

Show input menu

5. When a small icon appears in the upper right corner of your Mac's menu, click on it.
6. Select "Show Keyboard Viewer".

View keyboard

7. A virtual keyboard should appear on your screen.
8. Then, select the text you want to delete, and on your virtual keyboard, click on the "Delete" key.

Delete text using virtual keyboard

A virtual keyboard is great for short use when you desperately need a key that does not work on your physical keyboard. Using it as a long term replacement for your physical keyboard will slow down your typing speed significantly, and it will take up more of your time.

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How to Delete Text With Keyboard Shortcuts

If you do not prefer the methods above, all other keys on your keyboard work, and you like to be as efficient as possible, you can use these keyboard shortcuts.

To delete text using keyboard shortcuts, follow the steps below:

Shortcut 1

Put your cursor at the end of the text you want to delete and press the Control and H keys on your keyboard. It will delete the text behind the cursor.

Shortcut 2

Put your cursor before the text you want to delete and press the Control and D keys on your keyboard. It will delete the text in front of the cursor backward. 

Shortcut 3

By pressing Shift and the left arrow keys on your keyboard, you can select one character at a time to the left side.

By pressing Shift and the right arrow keys on your keyboard, you can select one character at a time to the right side.

By pressing the arrow key more times, you can select more characters. When the text is selected, you can delete it as described in the methods above or start typing a different text.

Shortcut 4

By pressing Shift + Control + the left arrow keys on your keyboard, you can select one word at a time to the left side.

By pressing Shift + Control + the right arrow keys on your keyboard, you can select one word at a time to the right side.

By pressing the arrow key more times, you can select more words. When the text is selected, you can delete it as described in the methods above or start typing a different text.

Shortcut 5

By pressing Shift + Command + the left arrow keys on your keyboard, you can select the whole text in that line to the left side of the cursor.

By pressing Shift + Command + the right arrow keys on your keyboard, you can select the whole text in that line to the right side of the cursor.

When the text is selected, you can delete it as described in the methods above or start typing a different text.

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How to Delete Text Using Your iOS Device as a Keyboard

There is also an alternative to use your iOS device, like an iPhone or iPad as a temporary keyboard. You can do that with the help of a third-party app called Mobile Mouse Remote, which you can find in your Apple App Store. It has an integrated QWERTY (typewriter and computer keyboard design for Latin-script alphabets) keyboard with some Mac keys like Command and Control. Although the app is great, it is not free. You will also need to pay for additional in-app purchases. If you decide to buy this app, then keep on reading.

To use your iOS device as a keyboard for your Mac, follow the steps below:

1. Open the App Store on your iOS device and go to the search bar.
2. In the search bar, enter "Mobile Mouse Remote".
3. When the app appears in the App Store, click on it to find more information and read it to make sure you want to buy the app.
4. After you purchase the app, go to your Mac.
5. Open the App Store from Launchpad, Finder, or Spotlight.
6. In the App Store, go to the search bar and enter "Mobile Mouse Server".
7. When the app appears, click on "Get" and then on "Install" to download the app. Enter your Apple ID password if asked. You will not have to pay for this app.
8. When the app has finished downloading, open the Mobile Mouse Server app on your Mac and the Mobile Mouse Remote app on your iOS device.
9. For devices to connect automatically, you need both devices connected to the same Wi-Fi connection.

When the devices are connected, the Mobile Mouse Remote app on your iOS device will have a trackpad like interface. At the top center of the screen, you will see what program are you currently using on your Mac.

To access the keyboard, click on the keyboard icon at the top right corner of the screen. You can switch tabs at the top right corner of the virtual keyboard and use the keyboard to type, execute a command, use the number pad, and more.

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We hope this article was helpful!

For a step-by-step tutorial, see the video below.

Video on Quick Ways You Can Delete Text When Delete Key is Not Working on Mac

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter to stay informed about the latest tech news or online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

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