Delete files in Google Drive

Important: If you delete or permanently delete multiple files or folders at once, it can take time for you to notice the changes.

To delete your Google Drive files, move them to the trash. Files in trash are permanently deleted after 30 days.

To delete your files forever, click Empty trash.

Learn what happens when you delete a file

Learn how to recover a deleted file

Move a file to the trash

To remove a file from your Drive, move the file to your trash. The file remains in your trash for 30 days before it’s deleted forever. To put a file in the trash:

  1. On your computer, go to drive.google.com.
  2. Right-click the file and:
    • If you own the file, click Move to Trash Remove.
    • If someone else is the owner of the file, click Remove Remove.

When you put a file in the trash: 

  • If you're the owner of the file, others can continue to access it until the file is deleted forever.
  • If you're not the owner, people can access the file, even if you empty your trash.

Permanently delete files

Important: If you're the owner of the file, anyone you shared the file with loses access when you permanently delete it.

Permanently delete all files in your trash

  1. On your computer, go to drive.google.com.
  2. On the left, click Trash.
  3. Make sure there are no files you want to keep.
  4. At the top right, click Empty trash.

Permanently delete an individual file:

  1. On your computer, go to drive.google.com.
  2. On the left, click Trash.
  3. Select a file.
  4. At the top, click Delete forever Remove.

Steps to permanently delete a file from Drive.

Tip: If you want others to have access to the file, you can transfer ownership to someone else. Make someone else the owner of your file.

Delete files in Drive for desktop

If you mirror or stream files between Google Drive and your computer, any files you put in the trash are put in the trash everywhere.

Important: If you back up to Google Photos, only photos and videos will be uploaded. Changes (including deleting images) won't sync between your computer and Google Photos.

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