Sign in with Microsoft
Sign in or create an account.
Select a different account.
You have multiple accounts
Choose the account you want to sign in with.

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.

The best way to delete your files is to use the Windows File Explorer.

Delete a file by using File Explorer

  1. Open a File Explorer window. 

    Tip: A quick way to get to File Explorer is to press Windows Key Press the Windows key + E.

  2. Locate the file that you want to delete.

  3. Select the file and press your Delete key, or click Delete on the Home tab of the ribbon.

Tip: You can also select more than one file to be deleted at the same time. Press and hold the CTRL key as you select multiple files to delete. To select a long list of files click the first file in the list, press and hold SHIFT, then click the last file in the list.

For more information see: Delete a file by using File Explorer

Remove a file from your recently used list in an Office program

If you want to keep the file, but simply remove it from your recently used files list, follow these steps:

  1. Click File > Open.

  2. Locate the file that you want to delete.

  3. Right-click the file, and then click Remove from list.

For more information on customizing the recently used files list see: Customize the list of recently used files.

Related Topics

Delete a page in Word
Delete files or folders in OneDrive
Office document cache settings

Need more help?

Want more options?

Explore subscription benefits, browse training courses, learn how to secure your device, and more.

Communities help you ask and answer questions, give feedback, and hear from experts with rich knowledge.

Was this information helpful?

What affected your experience?
By pressing submit, your feedback will be used to improve Microsoft products and services. Your IT admin will be able to collect this data. Privacy Statement.

Thank you for your feedback!