How to Delete Documents from Google Drive

The steps in this guide will show you how to delete a Google Docs document from your Google Drive.

  1. Sign into your Google Drive.
  2. Locate the document to delete, then click it to select it.
  3. Click the Trash icon at the top-right of the window.

The Google Drive storage that you get for free with your Google Account lets you upload files form your computer to the cloud so that you can access those files from devices with an Internet connection. Additionally, if you use Google Apps like Google Docs, Google Sheets, or Google Slides, files that you create in those applications will be stored in Google Drive as well.

But your Google Drive can get full pretty quickly, and having a large number of files in Google Drive can make it difficult to navigate. Our guide below is going to show you how to delete a document from Google Drive.

Additional reading

How to Delete a Google Docs Document from Google Drive

The steps in this guide were performed in the desktop version of the Google Chrome Web browser, but will also work in other desktop Web browsers like Microsoft Edge or Mozilla Firefox.

Step 1: Sign into your Google Drive at https://drive.google.com.

Step 2: Locate the file that you want to delete, then click on it once to select it. If you wish to delete multiple documents from Google Drive, hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard first, then click each of the files that you want to delete.

click on the file to delete

Step 3: Click the Trash icon at the top-right of the page.

how to delete a document from Google Drive

Alternatively you can right-click on the selected file, then choose the Remove option at the bottom of the menu.

How to Permanently Delete Google Drive Documents

The steps above are going to move your files to the trash, but it won’t permanently delete those files. This is beneficial if you sometimes delete files by mistake, or you discover that you need something after you have elected to delete it from your Drive. But if you are certain that you no longer need a file and want to get rid of it forever, then you are going to have to take a couple of extra steps if you want to permanently delete a document from Google Drive.

Step 1: Select the Trash tab from the left side of the Google Drive window.

select the Trash tab

Step 2: Click on the file that you wish to delete forever.

choose the file to delete forever

Step 3: Click the Trash icon at the top-right of the page.

click the trashcan icon

Step 4: Click the Delete forever button to confirm that you understand the file is going to be deleted permanently.

how to permanently delete a document from Google Drive

If you have other files in your trash and you want to delete those permanently as well, you can click the Trash dropdown menu at the top of the window and select the Empty trash option.

Additional Information on Deleting Documents from Google Drive

  • The steps above will work for other types of files in Google Drive, like a PDF or a picture that you uploaded from your computer or another device. It will also work if you have an entire Google Drive folder that you would like to get rid of.
  • Your available storage won’t change until you have permanently deleted the file from your trash. Files in the trash are recoverable by clicking on the file that you wish to restore to Google Drive, then click the Restore from trash button next to the trashcan at the top-right of the window.
  • Your total available Google Drive storage is affected by more than just the files you see in Google Drive. That storage is also used by other Google apps connected to your account, including Gmail. For many people, if they are near their Google Drive capacity, their Gmail account is likely the source of the issue. You will need to delete emails from Gmail if this is the case.

Check out our guide on Google Docs margins if you want to know more about editing that setting for the documents you create in Google’s word-processing application.