About "Trash"

Remove files, folders, and Google Docs that you no longer use from Google Drive.

Declutter your Google Drive by removing unwanted and outdated files, folders, and Google Docs from your Google Drive. Anything that you own and remove from Google Drive will be in the trash until you permanently delete or restore them.

Moving any files out of your Google Drive folder will cause their counterpart files on the web to be moved to the trash. If you then purge the trash, those files will become permanently inaccessible. Because the files in your Drive folder are essentially links to files that exist online, moving these files back into your Drive folder after purging the trash online will not restore the files, as their online counterparts will have been deleted.

Remove files, folders, and Google Docs

Want to tidy the views in your Google Drive? Remove files, folders, and Google Docs from Google Drive.

Online

  1. Go to drive.google.com and select a view.
  2. Select files and folders to remove from Google Drive.
  3. Click the Trash icon google drive trash icon.
    • If you’re the owner, the item will be moved to Trash in Google Drive on the web (and on your computer, if you’ve chosen to sync it). All collaborators will lose access if the item gets permanently deleted.
    • If you’re not the owner, the item will be removed from your current view in Google Drive on the web. For example, if you are looking at the Activity view and choose to Remove an item, then it will be removed from Activity view but still be available under All Items. The owner of the file will continue to have access to it, you are only removing it from your view.

Removing items from Google Drive on the web will only be reflected on all synced devices if they’re removed from My Drive and you’ve chosen to sync them.

Desktop

  1. Open your Google Drive folder.
  2. Select and drag files and folders you want to delete to your computer’s trash.
    • If you’re the owner, the item will be moved to the trash on your computer and in Google Drive on the web/mobile. All collaborators will lose access if the item gets permanently deleted.
    • If you’re not the owner, the item will be removed from the Google Drive folder on your computer. You’ll still be able to access it in Shared with me or All Items in Google drive on the web.

Please note that moving a file to your Drive folder (that is not a Google Docs file) will create a new file in Drive, even if you have just removed the file from the folder. This is one of the main reasons that you could see duplicate copies of a file in Drive.

Permanently delete files, folders, and Google Docs that you own

Running low on storage space in Google Drive or want to permanently delete something that you own? It’s time to empty the trash.

Removing something from Google Drive revokes access for everyone. Before you delete a Google Doc, file or folder, consider giving ownership to another collaborator.