delete key is a key on most computer keyboards which typically is used to delete either (in text mode) the character ahead of or beneath the cursor, or (in GUI mode) the currently-selected object. The key is sometimes referred to as the "forward delete" key. This is because the backspace key also deletes characters, but to the left of the cursor. On many keyboards, such as most Apple keyboards, the key with the backspace function is also labelled "delete".
In other cases, the Delete key is in its original IBM notebook position of above and to the right of the Backspace key. Many laptops add rows of smaller keys above the Function key line to add keys on a non-standard size keyboard. On this row of smaller keys, the position of the Delete key is positioned at or near the right-hand end. On Apple's line of laptops (e.g. the MacBook and MacBook Pro), the forward delete function can be achieved using the key combination.
The Delete key is typically smaller and less-conveniently located than the Backspace key, and on keyboards where space is limited, for example those omitting the numeric keypad or on mobile devices, it is often omitted altogether.
On some compact keyboards (for example, the 60-key Happy Hacking Keyboard), the Delete key replaces the conventional Backspace key, and the Backspace function is achieved by holding the Fn key and pressing Delete.
The delete key often works as a generic command to remove a selected object, such as an image embedded in a document (on , both the forward delete key and the delete (backspace) key have the same effect when pressed while an object is selected).
The delete key, on many modern motherboards, also functions to open the BIOS setup screen when pressed after starting the computer.
In GUI applications where the Delete key is enabled, especially in file browsers, pressing it does not necessarily immediately delete the selected object, but often a confirmation dialog box will appear to allow the user to cancel the deletion, or the object may instead be silently moved to a "trash folder" or equivalent, so that it can be recovered later. In other GUI contexts, the Undo function can often reverse a deletion.