Delete and restore files in Google Drive

Note: If you delete, restore or permanently delete a lot of files or folders at once, it might take time for you to see the changes.

Move a file to the bin

To remove a file from your Drive, put it in your bin The file will stay there until you empty your bin. When you put a file in the bin:

  • If you own the file, people with whomyou’ve shared it can make a copy. Learn how to permanently delete a file.
  • If you don’t own the file, removing the file from your Drive only removes it for you.
On the web
  1. On your computer, go to drive.google.com.
  2. Click a file.
  3. Click Remove Remove.
Backup and Sync for Mac & Windows

When you sync files:

  • Between Google Drive and your computer, any files you delete in one place will be deleted everywhere.
  • From folders on your computer, you can choose how files are deleted.

To change how files are deleted with Backup and Sync, learn how to change your settings.

Move files to the bin

  1. On your computer, find the file you want to delete.
  2. Drag the file to the bin on your computer.
  3. The file will be deleted everywhere. It may take some time for the file to be deleted everywhere.

Drive File Stream

To use Drive File Stream, you need to sign in to Google Account through work or school, and you’re not signed into a Google Account. Click here to sign in to your Google Account.

Empty your bin

You can permanently delete an individual file or empty your entire bin.

  • After you delete a file permanently, anyone that you’ve shared the file with will lose access to it.
  • If you want others to be able to view the file, you can transfer ownership to someone else.

On the web

Empty your entire bin

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

Delete an individual file forever

  1. On your computer, go to drive.google.com.
  2. On the left, click Bin.
  3. Click a file.
  4. At the top, click delete forever Remove.
Backup and Sync for Mac & Windows

When you use Backup and Sync to sync files between Google Drive and your computer, you can choose whether files you delete in one place will be deleted everywhere.

Empty your bin

To permanently delete your files, empty the bin on your computer.

Drive File Stream

To use Drive File Stream, you need to sign in to Google Account through work or school, and you’re not signed into a Google Account. Click here to sign in to your Google Account.

Recover a file from the bin

If there’s a file in your bin that you want to keep, put it back in 'My Drive'. If you’re not the owner of the file and want to use it:

  • Make a copy of the file.
  • Contact the owner to have them restore it.
On the web
  1. On your computer, go to drive.google.com.
  2. On the left, click Bin.
  3. Click the file that you want to restore.
  4. At the top, click restore Restore.
Backup and Sync for Mac & Windows
  1. On your computer, open your bin.
  2. Drag a file from your bin to your desktop or other folder.

To sync the file with Drive, place it in a folder that you’ve chosen to sync with Drive. Learn more about which folders on your computer sync with Google Drive.

Drive File Stream

To use Drive File Stream, you need to sign in to Google Account through work or school, and you’re not signed into a Google Account. Click here to sign in to your Google Account.

If you're not the owner of the file, contact the owner to have them restore it.

Tip: If you have important information in a file, you can make a copy of it. Open the file and click File and then Make a copy.

If you can't recover your deleted file

If you delete a file and need to get it back, contact a Drive specialist. To find your file, call or chat with us.

Contact a Drive specialist

  1. In a browser, like Chrome, go to the Google Drive Help Centre.
  2. At the top right, click Contact us.
  3. Choose your issue and how you'd like to contact us.

To contact us, sign in to your Google Account.

Drive support is not available in all languages. If you speak English, you can change your language and contact a Drive specialist.

  1. On your computer, go to the Google Drive Help Centre.
  2. At the bottom of the page, click your language.
  3. Choose English.
  4. In the top right, click Contact us.
  5. Choose your issue and how you'd like to contact us.

Note: When you've finished, you can change your language back to your preferred language.

 

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