In easy English, “Delete” stands for removing while “Cut” stands for replacing the location of an item. Both are basic windows commands but they work differently when you apply them on the data stored in a document or on files and folders stored in your computer.
Imagine this – you are working on a word document and want to move a sentence to the earlier paragraph. There are two ways to achieve this – either “Delete” the sentence and write the sentence in the new location, or “Cut” the sentence from the present location and paste it where you want.
The same is true for files and folders stored on your hard drive or removable drive. You can move files and folders between different Windows partitions using the “Cut” command.
As an example, to move a folder from E drive to D drive, you have to first “Cut” the folder from the E drive and then paste it in the D drive. A Cut command is usually followed by a paste, the keyboard shortcuts are Control +X and Control + V respectively.
The “Delete” command is used to delete data from a document, worksheet, presentation or any other application. There is no keyboard shortcut for “Delete” because all keyboards come with a “Delete” key by default. You can select a file or folder and then hit the “Delete” button to remove the file or folder from your computer.
Another point worth noting about both commands is the way the data is stored after each command is issued. When you use “Cut”, the data is temporarily placed on Windows clipboard and moved to your desired location after using “paste”. But with “Delete” the data is temporarily moved to the “Recycle Bin” of your computer, you can later permanently delete the data by emptying the Recycle bin or choose to restore it by selecting the file and clicking “Restore”.
In a nutshell, the “Cut” command stands for reallocating while the “Delete” command stands for “Removing”. Just the same way you move furniture around different rooms in your house (cut) and throw the unnecessary stuff in the trash can (delete).