On some smaller Mac keyboards, including the built-in keyboard on the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, there's no forward-delete (or Delete) key; the keys stop at the Backspace/Return/right-Shift column. (They also miss out on the separate number pad that would ordinarily sit on the right.)

In this article we answer two main questions: why is there no Delete key on your MacBook, and how can you forward-delete without it? Read next: How to fix a broken Mac keyboard

What's the difference between Backspace and Delete?

Backspace (the button at the top right marked with a straight left-facing arrow) deletes the character to the left of the text cursor; Delete (or Forward-Del, as we tend to think of it) deletes the character to the right.

In most situations Backspace is more useful, because you're deleting whatever you just wrote, but when editing a complete set of text you may find forward-deleting more useful.

Why are there no Delete keys on MacBooks?

To save space and make the laptop smaller. And also because, as explained above, the Delete key tends to be used less than the similar Backspace key.

How to forward-delete on MacBook

How to forward-delete without the Delete key

On your MacBook keyboard, hold down the Fn button (you'll find it at the bottom left of the keyboard layout) and then press Backspace. It will do a forward-delete instead of its default backwards-delete. Read next: Best Mac shortcuts