Google Drive makes it easy to create and store different types of documents, so it’s likely that you will eventually need to delete a file from Google Drive. Whether it’s because you don’t want or need the file, or you are simply trying to organize or consolidate files, this ability to delete files is very helpful.
Google Docs and Google Sheets are excellent alternatives to some more expensive word-processing and spreadsheet-editing applications. You can even save the files that you create and edit to your Google Drive folder, making them accessible from any computer, and many mobile devices.
But if you haven’t upgraded your Google Drive storage, then you may find that you are running out of space. Or maybe you have so many files that it is becoming difficult to find the important ones. Fortunately you can delete files from Google Drive, and you even have the option of deleting them permanently if you don’t ever need to use that file again.
How to Delete a File in Google Drive
- Sign into your Google Drive.
- Click the file to delete, then click the trash can icon at the top-right.
- Select the Trash tab at the left side of the window.
- Click the trash can icon at the top-right again.
- Select the Delete Forever button to confirm the permanent deletion of the file.
Our article continues below with images for each of these steps, as well as some additional information concerning the deletion of your files from Google Drive.
How to Remove a File from Your Google Drive
The steps in this article were performed in Google Chrome, but should be the same in other desktop Web browsers. Note that once you complete these steps will you have permanently deleted a file from your Google Drive, and you will not be able to get it back later.
Step 1: Open your Google Drive at https://drive.google.com/drive/my-drive.
Step 2: Select the file that you want to delete, then click the trash can icon at the top-right corner of the window.
Note that there will then be a pop-up at the bottom-left of the window that you can click to undo the deletion.
Google Drive will automatically delete files permanently after they have been in your trash for 30 days. However, if you want to permanently delete the file right away, then continue to the section below.
How to Permanently Delete a File from Google Drive
Deleting files in Google Drive isn’t permanent by default. The process involves sending them to the Trash in Google Drive, where they will delete permanently after they’ve been in there for 30 days. But you can choose to make the deletion permanent with these steps.
Step 1: Click the Trash option at the left side of the window.
Step 2: Select the file to permanently delete.
Step 3: Click the trash can icon at the top-right.
Step 4: Click the Delete forever button to confirm that you want to permanently delete the file from your Google Drive.
As indicated by the screenshot above, you are going to get a warning that the deletion can’t be undone. If you think there’s a chance that you may wish to recover this file again in the future, then you might want to hold off on deleting it permanently until you are certain.
Deleted files can be restored from the Google Drive trash by selecting the file, then clicking the Restore from trash button next to the trash can at the top-right.
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Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech tutorials since 2008. His writing has appeared on dozens of different websites and been read over 50 million times.
After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science he spent several years working in IT management for small businesses. However, he now works full time writing content online and creating websites.
His main writing topics include iPhones, Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Android, and Photoshop, but he has also written about many other tech topics as well.
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