How to delete everything in Google Drive

How to delete everything in Google Drive? Google Drive is an excellent place to save your files. It makes them accessible from any computer and any mobile device. But, occasionally, you will have a list of files you either don’t need or have no space to save them.

Every now and then you should take a look at your Google Drive storage and clean some files which might not be needed anymore. They can be a Google doc, a Google photo, a shared file, or even a shared drive.

As you use Google Drive, it silently goes on taking up more space. Then it gets full and you need to take action; delete a file, delete a google sheet, downloaded emails, delete duplicate files which you might have, using the trash folder.

You can remove these files and folders from Google Drive. Besides, you can delete them permanently if you’re sure you’ll never need them again.

Keep reading as we will show you how to delete files from Google Drive. This applies to files you have uploaded or created with docs, slides, or sheets.

You can do these maintenance tasks using the Google Drive app but since all users can access their Google Drive account through the browser, that’s how you’ll be shown how to do it.

Table of Contents

  1. How to delete everything in Google Drive
    1. Deleting Google Drive folders
    2. Deleting files from Google Drive
    3. Removing multiple files from Google Drive
    4. Empty the trash
  2. Wrap Up

How to delete everything in Google Drive

Deleting Google Drive folders

  • To delete a folder, sign in to your account and click on “My Drive”. This lists all the folders in the drive and allows you to select the one(s) you want to delete;
  • Right-click and select “Remove” or tap the trash icon;
How to delete everything in Google Drive

  • Right-click and tap “Remove”. Tap remove again when a pop up appears;
How to delete everything in Google Drive

  • Your files will be then placed in the Google Drive trash.

Note: If the folder contains shared files owned by other users, deleting the folder doesn’t remove them permanently. You also need to note that deleting a shared folder that doesn’t belong to you means removing the folder from your Drive view only. Anyone who has permission to the shared folder can still view its content.

You can’t delete items you don’t own. Those items only become “orphaned” since they have no parent folder. You can still view the mentioned items by searching for them or viewing them under “Shared with me”.

Deleting files from Google Drive

  • Sign in to Google Drive;
  • Pull up the list of your closed files;
  • Select the Google Drive file you want to remove;
  • Tap on the “three-bar icon” on the right side of the file;
  • If this is the only file you want to remove, tap on the “Remove” option. Tap on “Remove” again when a pop-up appears.
How to delete everything in Google Drive

Note: There is a pop-up at the bottom-left that allows you to undo the file deletion if you need to.

Removing multiple files from Google Drive

If the files you want to delete are located consecutively in a list, go through the following steps:

  • Select the first file in the list;
  • Hold down the SHIFT key;
  • Click the last file you want to delete on the list;
  • Once you have selected all the files you want, right-click on one of them and select “Remove”.

Empty the trash

When a user deletes a file or folder, it goes to the Google Drive trash and stays there until you empty the trash. During this period, the owner can either restore or permanently delete the items.

This is the procedure to delete the files permanently:

  • Go to “Trash” by clicking “More” on the “three-bar menu” at the top left corner;
  • Select the trash option where you’ll find all the deleted files. You can delete an individual file or you can empty the whole trash can;
  • Click on the “three-dot menu” in the top right corner and select “Empty Bin”;
  • Select “Delete Forever” to confirm you want to delete the file permanently.
How to delete everything in Google Drive

Note: Until you have emptied the trash, the deleted file continues occupying your storage space. Also, if you have shared a file, and you have removed it, the people you’ve shared with can still access it until you delete it permanently.

You also need to note that only file owners can permanently delete items on Google Drive. Those items will disappear from everyone else’s My Drive. If you’re not the owner of a file it’s good to remember that you’re only removing it from your own view.

To avoid cases where collaborators lose access, it’s good to make someone else the owner of the file before you delete it permanently.

Wrap Up

To delete a file from Google Drive, you generally follow the same steps as deleting a file from your computer. You move whatever you want to delete to the trash folder and then delete it permanently.

Doing it frequently will help you keep enough Google Drive storage available, especially when you delete large files.

After you delete a file, anyone you’ve shared the file with loses access to it. If you want that person to continue accessing the file, you should hand over the ownership to him.

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