How to Delete Files from Google Drive on Mobile and PC

Delete Google Drive Files Feat

You may want to delete some files from your Google Drive if it’s storage becomes full. But how does one delete files from Google Drive? Find the answer in this post where you will also learn how to delete multiple, orphaned, and shared Google Drive files.

How to Delete Files From Google Drive on Desktop

  1. On your PC, open drive.google.com and locate the file to delete.
  2. Click once on the file to select it, then hit the Delete button at the top.
Google Drive Delete File From Pc

How to Delete Files from Google Drive on iPhone and Android

  1. On a Google Drive mobile app, tap on the Files tab at the bottom.
  2. Find the file you want to delete and tap on the three dots next to the file.
Google Drive Delete File From Mobile
  1. Choose “Remove” from the menu. A confirmation pop-up will appear.
  2. Allow Google Drive to delete the file.

What Happens When You Delete Files From Google Drive

When you remove a file from Google Drive, it’s taken to the Trash or Bin folder where it stays for 30 days until it gets deleted permanently. You can manually delete the file permanently before the 30-day expiration date.

You can only delete the files that you own. After, anyone you have shared the file with will lose the ability to access the file. If you want to remove the file from your account without deleting it, you should transfer the ownership of the file.

How to Delete Multiple Files in Google Drive

Fortunately, you can delete multiple files quite easily on Google Drive.

On PC:

  1. Select the first file you wish to delete by clicking it.
  2. While keeping the Ctrl (Windows) or Command (macOS) key pressed, click on other files to select them.
Google Drive Delete Files Multiple
  1. Once selected, click on the Delete button at the top.

On Android and iPhone:

  1. Touch and hold the first file to select it. That will enable the multiple selection mode.
  2. Tap on other files to select them.
Google Drive Delete Files Multiple Mobile
  1. With the required files selected, tap on the three dots at the top and choose “Remove” from the menu.

How to Delete Files by Size

If you are looking for the biggest files to delete from Google Drive, you can sort the files according to their size.

On PC:

  1. Open https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/quota. You will see all the files in your Drive arranged in decreasing order of their size with the largest one at the top.
Google Drive Delete Files Size
  1. Select the file you want to delete and click the Delete icon.

You can also delete multiple files as shown above

On Android and iPhone:

You may need to sort your files first, and this is only allowed within a folder.

  1. Open the folder whose files you want to check and delete.
  2. Tap on the Name or Last modified/opened option at the top.
Google Drive Sort File
  1. Select “Storage used” from the menu. Now your files will be listed from largest to smallest.
  2. Select the required file and delete it by tapping on the three dots.

How to Delete Google Drive Shared Files

To remove shared files on PC:

  1. Click the “Shared with me” tab in the left sidebar.
  2. From the list of files that show up in the right panel, select the file by clicking on it.
Google Drive Shared File Delete
  1. Hit the Delete icon at the top.

On Android and iPhone:

  1. Tap on the Shared tab at the bottom.
  2. Hit the three dots next to the file.
Google Drive Shared File Delete Mobile
  1. Select “Remove” from the list.

How to Delete Orphaned Files

A file that has lost its parent folder is referred to as an orphaned file in Google Drive. It’s hard to find them yet not impossible.

  1. Simply enter “is:unorganized owner:me” in the search field of Google Drive on mobile or PC. That will show any and all orphaned files.
Google Drive Unorganized Files Delete
  1. Delete them as you would delete other files.

Learn more about how to search effectively in Google Drive.

How to Delete Files From Google Drive Permanently

As mentioned, any file that you delete will go to the Trash folder first. To delete files permanently from Google Drive, you need to remove them from the Trash or Bin folder.

On PC:

  1. Click on the Bin folder present in the left sidebar of Google Drive.
  2. Click on the file to select it and hit the Delete button.
Google Drive Delete File From Trash
  1. If you want to recover the deleted file, click on the Restore icon instead.

On the Google Drive Android or iPhone app:

  1. Tap on the three bars at the top and select “Trash” from the list. Here you will find all the deleted files.
Google Drive Delete Files From Trash Mobile
  1. Tap on the three dots for the file and select “Delete forever.”
  2. Alternatively, you can recover the file by tapping on Restore.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What takes up storage in Google Drive?

For starters, your Google storage is shared across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos. If you are getting a notification that your Google One storage is full, Google Drive is just one of the components to blame.

Almost everything you put in Google Drive will take up space. That includes PDF files, videos, images, and the newly created Google Drive services files, such as Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and Drawings files. Previously, Google Drive component files weren’t counted against the storage, but that changed in June 2021. Apart from that, even the items in the Google Drive Trash folder count toward the Drive storage. Find out how to free up storage space in Google Drive.

The files present under the shared drives or the Shared with me section will not count toward your storage space, as files take up storage only on the owner’s Google Drive.

2. If a Google Drive file is deleted on a computer, will it be removed from mobile as well?

Yes, since the files are in constant sync with each other. Deleting them on one platform will delete them from the other platforms too.

3. Can I delete files from PC or mobile after uploading to Google Drive?

Yes, you can remove the files from your phone or desktop’s storage if you have already added them to Google Drive. This allows you to save space on your personal device.

4. Are Google Drive Bin and Trash the same?

Yes. Both refer to the same thing.

Explore Google Drive

If moving to a new Google Drive account was your main goal while deleting files, you can transfer Google Drive files to another account in other ways. Read on to learn solutions for difficulties when uploading files and videos on your Google Drive.

Mehvish Mushtaq Mehvish Mushtaq

Mehvish is a technology enthusiast from Kashmir, India. A computer engineer by degree, she's always been keen to help when someone finds technology challenging. Her favorite verticals include how-to guides, explainers, tips and tricks for Android, iOS/iPadOS, Windows, social media, and web apps.

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