Deleting a File in Drive

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 14, 2013)

It is inevitable that over time you will collect lots and lots of documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and other items in Google Drive. Sooner or later you will want to "clean house" and get rid of a few of those files. Here's how you delete them:

  1. Log into Google Drive (
  2. Locate the file you want to delete. (Your files should be listed in the main Drive screen, but you might need to open other folders if the file you want to delete is within one of them.)
  3. Select the checkbox to the left of the file name.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for any other files you want to delete.
  5. Click the Remove tool or click the More button (the one at the top of the screen) and then click Remove.

Notice that the tool and command name is "remove," not "delete." This is because the tool actually moves the selected files to the special Trash folder; it doesn't permanently delete them. In this way, the Trash folder functions much like the Recycle Bin or trash can on your computer's desktop. The advantage of this approach is that you can, if desired, recover the file and again use it.

If, instead, you want to permanently delete the file, then after performing the above steps you should perform these steps:

  1. If it is available, click the More option at the left side of the screen. Drive displays a number of additional options.
  2. Click Trash. Drive displays all the files in the Trash folder.
  3. Select the checkboxes to the left of all the files you want to permanently delete.
  4. Click the Delete Forever button at the top of the screen. Drive displays a warning message about the deletion you are about to perform.
  5. Click Delete Forever. The files you selected in step 3 are immediately and irrevocably deleted.

Another way to permanently delete a file is to simply right-click on it and choose Delete Forever from the options presented. (The option only appear if you right-click on the file's listing line, not if you right-click on the file's name.)

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


Setting the AutoRecover Directory

Excel, by default, periodically writes information to AutoRecover files that can help protect your data in case Excel is ...

Discover More

Transposing Two Paragraphs

Need to swap two adjacent paragraphs? Your editing arsenal can include a command to do this if you use the macro in this tip.

Discover More

Finding an Invisible Text Box

Text boxes can be a great aid in designing the layout of your document. What do you do when you can't find a text box ...

Discover More
More DriveTips

Copying a File

Making copies of files is a snap in Drive. Here are a couple of ways you can perform this common task.

Discover More

Displaying Keyboard Shortcuts

A quick way to accomplish tasks in any Google Drive application is to rely on a handy collection of keyboard shortcuts. ...

Discover More

Restoring a Deleted File

Delete a file in Drive and it is moved to the Trash folder. You can recover files previously deleted so they can be used ...

Discover More

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is nine minus 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)