How to Delete a File from Google Drive

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

  1. Sign into your Google Drive.
  2. Click the file to delete, then click the trash can icon at the top-right.
  3. Select the Trash tab at the left side of the window.
  4. Click the trash can icon at the top-right again.
  5. 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

Step 2: Select the file that you want to delete, then click the trash can icon at the top-right corner of the window.

how delete file google drive

Note that there will then be a pop-up at the bottom-left of the window that you can click to undo the deletion.

undo the file 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.

open the trash folder

Step 2: Select the file to permanently delete.

Step 3: Click the trash can icon at the top-right.

delete from trash

Step 4: Click the Delete forever button to confirm that you want to permanently delete the file from your Google Drive.

how to permanently delete file 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.

Find out how to enable conversion of uploaded files in Google Docs so that you can edit files that you upload using the Google Docs editing tools.

See also newsletter

Disclaimer: Most of the pages on the internet include affiliate links, including some on this site.