Documents that you create in Google Docs are stored in your Google Drive so that you can access them from anywhere. But Google Drive doesn’t just hold your Google Docs documents; it also holds spreadsheets that you create in Google Sheets, slideshows that you create in Google Slides, as well as other types of files that you have uploaded from your computer.
It can actually be helpful to think of Google Drive as another hard drive or folder on your computer, as you are able to store files there that can be accessed from any Internet-connected device with a Web browser. Just like a folder on your computer, you are able to delete files that have been added to Google Drive.
Google Docs documents are automatically saved in Google Drive, providing you with access to them from any compatible device with an Internet connection. You can open these documents from any computer where you are signed in to your Google Account, and even mobile devices like Android and iPhone smartphones.
While the default amount of Google Drive storage space allows you to create and save many documents, it’s possible that you may run out of space, or simply have too many documents to easily manage all of them.
Fortunately, you can delete documents from Google Docs by deleting them through Google Drive.
How to Delete Documents on Google Docs
- Sign into Google Drive.
- Click on the document you wish to delete.
- Click the trash can icon at the top-right of the window.
Continue reading our guide below for more information on deleting a Google Docs document, including pictures of these steps.
How to Delete a Document from Google Docs (Guide with Pictures)
The steps in this article were performed in the desktop version of the Google Chrome Web browser, but will also work in most other desktop Web browsers as well.
Step 1: Sign into Google Drive at https://drive.google.com.
Step 2: Select the Google Docs document to delete.
Step 3: Click the trash can icon at the top-right of the window.
You can also select a file that you want to delete, then press the Delete key on your keyboard.
If you are trying to delete something from within a Google document rather than a complete file itself, then you can typically click and hold your mouse to select the content within the document then press the Delete key on your keyboard. This will work whether you are deleting blank space inside of a document, page numbers or a page count in the header, or simply unwanted text that is part of the document. You can even click inside the document and press Ctrl + A on the keyboard to select everything in the document, then press the Delete key to remove it. You can also choose Edit from the top menu bar and choose Select all to select everything in the document.
This tutorial continues below with additional content about this topic, including information on how to permanently delete a Google Docs document that you have sent to the trash.
Can I Permanently Delete Google Docs Documents?
Google Documents that are deleted through Google Drive are not deleted forever by default. This gives you a month to change your mind and restore the file if you actually do need it, or to fix it if the file was deleted by accident.
But if you are absolutely certain that you are willing to lose access to that file and its content then you are able to permanently delete a file by opening the trash, selecting the file in there, then clicking the Delete forever trash can at the top-right of the window.
If you need to delete multiple Google Docs, either from Google Drive or from your trash, then you can hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard and click each of the files that you want to delete. Once they are all selected you can click the trash can icon or press the Delete button on your keyboard.
More Information on How to Delete Google Docs
The free version of Google Drive gives you 15 GB of storage space. This space is shared between all of the applications attached to your Google Account, including Gmail. If you are running low on space in Google Drive and don’t have a lot of files, then it’s very likely that it is because of Gmail.
After you have deleted a file from Google Drive you are going to have a couple of seconds to undo that deletion from the same screen. Note that a pop up box will appear at the bottom-left of the window allowing you to undo this deletion if you so choose. If you don’t see this pop up you can always restore a deleted file to Google Drive by opening your trash, selecting the document, then clicking the Remove from trash icon.
Documents that you delete from Google Docs will go to your trash, which is accessible by clicking the Trash tab at the left side of the window. Items that you delete from Google Drive and send to the trash are automatically deleted permanently after they have been in the trash for thirty days.
Changes to a Google document are saved automatically, but Google Docs will let you restore a previous version of a document if you need it. Click the File tab at the top of the window, choose Version history, then See version history. You can then click the three vertical dots next to a previous version that you wish to restore and choose the Restore this version option.
One useful thing about version history is that it gives you more options if you need to make a lot of changes to a document. If you had previously changed some page setup options like page margins, or if you have deleted an extra page or unwanted page only to find out that you accidentally deleted all the content on a nearby page, then you can often fix many of those issues at the same time by reverting to a previous version of the document.
To delete Google Docs documents from the mobile app you can open the app, tap the menu icon next to a document, then scroll to the bottom and choose the Remove option.
If you would like to permanently delete a Google Docs file, simply open the Trash, select the document, then click the trash can icon again to delete the document forever. This article explains more about permanently deleting Google Docs files.
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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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