Top 7 Ways to Fix Google Drive Won’t Delete Files Issue

Top 7 Ways to Fix Google Drive Won’t Delete Files Issue

Deleting files on Google Drive or other Google products like Sheets and Docs is simple. However, deleting shared files can be a bit tricky. When you delete a shared file, it is only temporarily removed from your view. Refreshing the page will bring it back. In this article, we will guide you on how to permanently delete files from Google Drive.

Top 7 Ways to Fix Google Drive Won’t Delete Files Issue

Typically, when you delete a file, it should either be permanently deleted or moved to the trash folder. However, in Google Drive, there are cases where files do not follow this behavior. This occurs when the owner deletes the original shared file, particularly on the web version of Google Drive.

To permanently delete spam or unused files from Google Drive, follow these steps:

1. Open Google Drive and navigate to the file you want to delete.

2. Right-click on the file and select “Delete.”

3. A prompt will appear asking if you want to move the file to the trash or permanently delete it. Choose the option to permanently delete the file.

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4. The file will be permanently deleted from Google Drive and cannot be recovered.

By following these steps, you can ensure that spam or unused files are permanently removed from your Google Drive, freeing up storage space and improving organization.

1. Delete Files Correctly

There are three ways to delete files on Google Drive, Sheets, Docs, etc.

Method 1: Delete Without Opening the File

To delete a file in Google Drive on the web, click on it and then select the delete icon.

Top 7 Ways to Fix Google Drive Won’t Delete Files Issue

You will see the three-dot icon on the files in the case of Docs, Sheets, etc. Click on it and select Remove.

Top 7 Ways to Fix Google Drive Won’t Delete Files Issue

Method 2: Delete After Opening the File

Click on File and select Move to bin or Move to trash.

Method 3: Delete Files Shared with You

To delete shared files in Google Drive, go to the Shared with me tab on the left side. Select the file you want to delete and click the delete icon at the top.

Top 7 Ways to Fix Google Drive Won’t Delete Files Issue

2. Drag Items to Trash

If the Remove or Move to bin buttons are disabled, drag the files directly to the Bin folder in Google Drive’s home screen.

Top 7 Ways to Fix Google Drive Won’t Delete Files Issue

3. Create a Folder

Some Google Drive users suggest creating a folder and adding the problematic files to remove them. To do this, create a folder, drag the files into it, and then delete the files individually or delete the entire folder.

To create a folder, select the files you want to move, click the three-dot icon at the top, and select Move to.

Click the new folder icon, name the folder, and click the blue checkmark icon.

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Top 7 Ways to Fix Google Drive Won’t Delete Files Issue

4. Delete Files From Bin

When you delete your files, they are moved to the Bin. To permanently remove them, follow these steps: delete a file you own, then click on the Bin option in Google Drive. Select the file(s) you want to delete and click the delete icon.

Top 7 Ways to Fix Google Drive Won’t Delete Files Issue

Click on Delete forever. When you delete the files owned by you, anyone who had access will lose access. So, you can transfer the ownership before deleting it. Alternatively, the other users need to download a copy.

5. Try on Different Device

Sometimes, deleted files reappear on one device only, such as on the web. To test this, try accessing the files on a mobile phone using the mobile apps. If the file doesn’t appear there, it may bring some peace of mind, even though it’s not a perfect solution.

6. Try From Different Browser

Similar to the solution above, you should also try using a different browser. Many Chrome users have reported this issue, so try opening Google Drive on another browser to check if the file has been removed. Additionally, clear your current browser’s cache.

7. Problem With Shared Files

Google Drive often fails to delete files, especially when it comes to shared files. Google is aware of this issue and is working on finding a solution. In the meantime, you can adopt alternative methods to prevent these files from appearing in your Google Drive, which will help you maintain your sanity. There are two ways to accomplish this.

Change View

Google products like Drive, Docs, Sheets, etc. have two ways to view files: grid and list. If deleted files appear in grid view, switch to list view. If the issue persists in list view, switch to grid view. The problematic files will disappear.

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To change the view, click on the list or grid view icon at the top.

Top 7 Ways to Fix Google Drive Won’t Delete Files Issue

Change Which Files to View

In Google products like Docs and Sheets, you can filter your files by their owner. Select “Owned by me” to view only your files.

To do this, open the Google product and click on the viewing filter. Then choose “Owned by anyone” or “Owned by me.”

Top 7 Ways to Fix Google Drive Won’t Delete Files Issue

Fix or Change

The methods mentioned above can help you permanently delete unwanted files from your Google Drive. However, you may still encounter issues with shared files. Changing the view or device can resolve this problem.

Next, you may be interested in our Google Drive storage guide to learn more about what consumes storage on Google Drive.

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