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

Deleting your own file on Google Drive or other Google products such as Sheets, Docs, etc. is an easy task. For many users, the problem arises when you try to delete a shared file. It is only temporarily removed from the user’s view. Refreshing the page brings it back. So let’s explain how to fix Google Drive problem which will not delete files permanently.

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Generally, when you delete a file, it should be deleted permanently or go to the trash folder. While something similar also happens in Google Drive, some files don’t. This usually happens when the owner deletes the original file that is shared with you. The problem mainly occurs on the web version of Google Drive.

Let’s see how to permanently delete spam or unused files from Google Drive.

1. Correctly delete files

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

Method 1: Delete without opening the file

When you launch Google Drive on the web, click once on the file and tap the delete icon at the top.

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

Method 2: Delete After Opening the File

Open the file you want to delete. Click on the File option at the top and select Move to bin or Move to trash.

Method 3: Delete the files shared with you

To delete files shared with you, click the Shared with me tab on the left side of Google Drive. Then click on the file you want to delete. Tap the delete icon at the top.

2. Drag items to the trash

If the Delete or Move to Bin buttons are disabled, you can drag files directly to the Bin folder. Go to the Google Drive home screen. Then drag and drop the required file to the trash.

3. Create a folder

Some Google Drive users have suggested that creating a folder and adding problematic files helped them delete them. You must 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. Then click on the three-dot icon at the top. Select Move to.

Click on the new folder icon. Name the folder and click the blue check mark icon.

4. Delete files from the trash

When you delete the files you have, they will be placed in the trash. You must delete the files from the recycle bin to keep them permanently.

To do this, first delete a file that belongs to you. Then click on the Bin option on the left side of Google Drive. Select the file (s) you want to delete and tap the delete icon at the top.

A pop-up window will appear. Click Delete forever. When you delete the files that belong to you, anyone who has access to them will lose access. You can therefore transfer ownership of the file before deleting it. Alternatively, other users accessing these files must download a copy.

5. Try a different device

Sometimes deleted files that reappear are available on one device. In other words, they can only reappear on the Web. Try it on your mobile phone using the mobile apps. The file will not be there. Even if it is not a suitable solution, you would be comfortable if the file was deleted.

6. Try from a different browser

Similar to the above solution, you should also try through another browser. Many Chrome users have reported the problem. So try opening Google Drive on other browsers to see if the file has been deleted or not. Also clear the cache of your current browser.

7. Problem with shared files

Google Drive does not delete files mainly occurs for shared files, and Google is aware of the problem. Until Google gives us an appropriate solution, you can try other ways to avoid showing such files in Google Drive, thus retaining your reason.

There are two ways to do this.

Change of view

Different Google products such as Drive, Docs, Sheets, etc. offer two ways to display files: the grid and the list. If you see the deleted files in the grid view, change the view to list view. Similarly, if the problem occurs in the list view, switch to grid view. The problematic files would disappear.

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

Edit the files to display

In Google products like Docs and Sheets, you will find the ability to filter your files by owner. Choose Owned by me to view only your files.

To do this, open the Google product and click on the display filter. Then choose one of the options – Property from anyone or Property from me.

Correction or modification

We hope the above methods have helped you to permanently delete unwanted files from your Google Drive. As mentioned earlier, you may still experience the problem with shared files. But change the view or the device will fix it.


Wondering what takes up storage space on Google Drive? Check out our Google Drive storage guide from the following link.

Last updated on February 13, 2020

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