Google Drive offers ample storage space for your files, surpassing the limitations of your device. With a generous allocation of 15GB of free space, you can effortlessly upload content such as videos, pictures, documents, and audio from your Android phone, tablet, or PC. However, subscribing to a Google One membership can provide additional benefits when your storage capacity runs out. Nonetheless, there are simple tricks to maximize the utility of the free space without the need for a subscription. One such approach is deleting unnecessary files. This article will guide you on permanently deleting and restoring files on your Google Drive, ensuring privacy and efficient account management.
Understanding File Deletion on Google Drive
When you delete a file from Google Drive, it is immediately moved to the trash. The file remains in the trash for 30 days, enabling you to restore it if needed. After this timeframe, Google automatically deletes the file permanently. If you delete a file from the trash, it cannot be recovered. The only exception is if you have shared and collaborated on the file with third parties who have made copies. Deleting the original file removes access for everyone, but it does not affect any copies made.
Applicable to Personal and Google Workspace Accounts
The file deletion process remains consistent regardless of whether you have a personal account or a Google Workspace account with multiple users. The only distinction is that Workspace Administrators can recover deleted files within 25 days after a user empties their trash.
Deleting Files within Google Workspace Apps
You can delete files from any Google Workspace app, as they are synchronized, and the files appear in the trash. However, files displayed in the “Shared with Me” menu do not enter the trash when removed since you are not the owner. Instead, Google hides them from view and will no longer appear in your Drive. Furthermore, shared files do not consume storage space in your Drive, allowing you to leave them untouched.
Managing Storage and Deleted Files
Old Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Drawings, and specific Google Photos files created or backed up before June 1, 2021, do not count towards your storage limit if you refrain from opening or editing them. Conversely, deleted files in the trash contribute to your storage count. You can permanently erase or move them to another location to free up additional space.
Steps to Permanently Delete Google Drive Files
Deleting files from Google Drive follows a similar process across all devices. It provides a comprehensive view of features on browsers, while the mobile app facilitates quick actions without needing a computer. Follow these steps to get started
Permanently Deleting Google Drive Files on Computers
1. Visit drive.google.com.
2. Locate the file you wish to delete.
3. Click on the file to select it. For multiple file selections, please hover your mouse over them and click the checkbox that appears.
4. Click the trash icon.
Alternatively, click the three-dot icon next to the file and choose “Remove.”
5. Once you have deleted the files, click “Trash” in the left sidebar.
6. Select a deleted file by clicking on it, then click the trash icon.
Google will display a warning indicating that this action is permanent. Click “Delete forever” to confirm.
7. To permanently erase all files in the trash, click “Empty trash,” and then click “Delete forever” to confirm.
Delete Google Drive files permanently on the mobile app
- Open Google Drive.
- Locate the file you want to delete.
- Tap the three-dot icon beside it, then select Remove.
- Google prompts you to confirm your decision. Tap Move to trash to delete multiple files, long-press a file to select it. Then tap others.
- Tap the trash icon. Then select Move to trash to confirm the action.
- Next, tap the menu icon in the upper-left corner beside the search bar.
- Select Trash
- Long-press a file, then tap the trash icon.
- Google warns you that the deletion cannot be undone. Tap Delete forever.
- To permanently delete everything inside the bin, tap Empty Trash. Then tap Delete forever to confirm it.