How to Permanently Delete a Google Docs Document

672598 How to Permanently Delete a Google Docs Document

Google Docs is a hugely popular online document editing and storage service. It allows you to create, edit, store, and collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more, all from your web browser.

While Google Docs offers many benefits, over time you may accumulate documents that you no longer need or want. Deleting unnecessary Google Docs files can help free up storage space and reduce clutter.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to permanently delete documents from Google Docs, so they are gone for good.

Access the Delete Menu

The first step is accessing the delete menu for your document. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Google Docs and log into your account if needed.
  2. On the left side, locate the document you want to delete.
  3. Hover your mouse over the document title and click the three vertical dots that appear. This opens the document menu.
  4. In the menu, click Remove.

This will send the document to your Google Drive trash. But don’t worry, deleting a document permanently takes an additional step, which I’ll explain next.

Delete the Document Permanently

After removing a document, it sits in your Google Drive trash for 30 days before being deleted forever automatically.

To permanently delete the document right away:

  1. Open the Google Drive web app.
  2. On the left sidebar, click Trash. This opens your trash bin.
  3. Locate the document you want to delete permanently.
  4. Hover your mouse over the document title and click the three vertical dots on the right side.
  5. In the menu that appears, click Delete forever.
  6. In the confirmation window, click Delete Forever again to confirm.

The document is now permanently deleted from your Google Drive and Docs. This action cannot be undone, so make sure it’s a file you really want to erase.

Bulk Delete Multiple Documents

If you need to permanently erase multiple Google Docs files at once, it’s just as easy:

  1. In Google Drive, click Trash on the left sidebar.
  2. Check the boxes next to all documents you want to permanently delete. You can click the first box and then Shift + Click the last box to select everything in between.
  3. Click the trash icon that appears at the top toolbar.
  4. In the confirmation window, click Delete Forever.

All selected documents are now permanently deleted. This saves you the hassle of deleting each file individually.

Alternative Methods

Here are two alternative methods you can use to permanently erase Google Docs documents:

  • Use Google One Storage Manager: The Google One storage manager lets you easily find and delete files taking up space across Google services like Drive and Docs. Just make sure to empty the trash after deleting.
  • Install Google Drive Desktop App: The Backup and Sync app from Google gives you a Drive folder on your computer hard drive. You can permanently delete Docs files by sending them to the trash folder here. Just remember to empty the trash folder afterwards.

The web apps offer the simplest workflows, but these desktop options work too.

Tips for Managing Documents

Here are some tips to help you effectively manage your Google Docs library going forward:

  • Use folders to organize files by topic, project, year, etc. This makes locating documents much easier.
  • Share judiciously and check sharing settings often. Accidental exposure can lead to unwanted editing.
  • Review activity history to see the last time you viewed or edited a file. Flag stale docs for spring cleaning.
  • Establish data retention policies on what gets saved and for how long. This prevents endless accumulation.

Following these tips will help you keep your Docs tidy and secure.

Recap and Conclusion

And there you have it – a straightforward tutorial on permanently deleting Google Docs files. Here’s a quick recap:

  • Access the document menu and select Remove to send the file to trash
  • Open Google Drive trash, select the document, and choose Delete Forever
  • Bulk delete is possible by selecting multiple files before deleting
  • Alternative methods include Google One and Drive desktop app
  • Use folders, sharing settings, activity history, and retention policies to stay organized

Deleting documents from Google Docs is simple once you know the steps. Just remember that permanent deletion is forever, so double check it’s a document you truly want gone.

With this knowledge in hand, you can easily clean up your Docs library and reclaim valuable storage space. Best of luck keeping your online files tidy! Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions.

About The Author