Delete a file

Deleting a file removes it from the location where it is stored. If the storage location is your hard disk, the file is moved to the Recycle Bin. If the storage location is a disk, CD, or network location, the file is destroyed.

You cannot delete a file while someone has it open in any program. The file must be closed, and if it is a shared file, it must be checked in.

Note: For more information about deleting and restoring files and folders, see the Microsoft Windows Help and Support Center, which you can access by clicking Help and Support on the Start menu. For information about the Recycle Bin, you can see View, restore, or delete items in the Recycle Bin.

What do you want to do?

Delete a file while in an Office program

Delete several files at one time

Delete a file by using Windows Explorer

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Delete a file while in an Office program

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button Office button image , and then click Open.

    Important: If you don't see the Microsoft Office Button Office button image , click Open on the File menu.

  2. Locate the file that you want to delete.

  3. Right-click the file, and then click Delete on the shortcut menu.

    Note: You can also select more than one file to be deleted at the same time.

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Delete several files at one time

There are two ways to select and delete multiple files.

Delete a short list of files

  1. Locate the files you want to delete.

  2. Select the first file, and then press CTRL.

  3. Select each file to delete, and then right-click to select Delete on the shortcut menu.

Delete long list of files

  1. Locate the files you want to delete.

  2. Select the first file, and then press SHIFT.

  3. While holding SHIFT, scroll to the last file to delete.

  4. Select the last file.

  5. Right-click to select Delete on the shorcut menu.

    Note: If there are files you don't want to delete, release SHIFT, then press CTRL, and click the files to keep. Click Delete on the shortcut menu.

Delete a file by using Windows Explorer

  1. Open Windows Explorer.

  2. Locate the file that you want to delete.

  3. Right-click the file, and click Delete on the shortcut menu.

Note: For more information about deleting and restoring files and folders, see the Microsoft Windows Help and Support Center, which you can access by clicking Help and Support on the Start menu.

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