How to Delete Documents from Microsoft Word: A Step-by-Step Guide


Michael Collins

Deleting documents from Microsoft Word is a straightforward task that can be accomplished in just a few clicks. Whether you’re decluttering your digital workspace or removing outdated files, the process is simple. By following the steps outlined below, you’ll be able to remove any unwanted Word documents quickly and efficiently.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Delete Documents from Microsoft Word

Before diving into the steps, it’s important to understand that deleting a document from Microsoft Word will remove it from your computer’s file system. Ensure that you no longer need the document or have saved a backup before proceeding.

Step 1: Locate the Document

Find the Word document on your computer that you want to delete.

Locating the document might be the most time-consuming step if you’re not sure where it’s saved. Check your Documents folder, desktop, or any other location where you typically save Word files. If you can’t find it, use the search function on your computer to search for the document by name.

Step 2: Right-click on the Document

Once you’ve found the document, right-click on it.

A menu will appear with various options. This is a shortcut to perform different actions on the file without opening it.

Step 3: Select ‘Delete’

In the right-click menu, click on the ‘Delete’ option.

This will send the document to your computer’s Recycle Bin or Trash. The document hasn’t been permanently deleted yet; it’s just been moved to a different location where it’s no longer immediately accessible.

Step 4: Empty the Recycle Bin or Trash

To permanently delete the document, empty your Recycle Bin or Trash.

Right-click on the Recycle Bin or Trash icon on your desktop and select ‘Empty Recycle Bin’ or ‘Empty Trash.’ This will permanently remove the document from your computer, so make sure you really don’t need it anymore.

After completing these steps, the Word document will be permanently deleted from your computer. If you change your mind before emptying the Recycle Bin or Trash, you can restore the document by opening the Bin or Trash and selecting ‘Restore.’

Tips for Deleting Documents from Microsoft Word

  • Always double-check that you’re deleting the correct document.
  • Consider backing up important documents before deletion.
  • Use the search function if you’re having trouble locating a document.
  • Be aware that once the Recycle Bin or Trash is emptied, the deletion is permanent.
  • Use a file shredding software for sensitive documents that you want to ensure are completely unrecoverable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I recover a Word document after it’s been deleted?

If you haven’t emptied the Recycle Bin or Trash, you can recover the document by opening the Bin or Trash and selecting ‘Restore.’

Will deleting a document from Word also delete it from cloud storage?

Deleting a document from Word on your computer won’t automatically delete it from cloud storage services like OneDrive unless you’re deleting it directly from the cloud service’s folder on your computer.

Can I delete multiple Word documents at once?

Yes, you can select multiple documents by holding down the ‘Ctrl’ key (or ‘Command’ on Mac) and clicking on each document, then right-click and choose ‘Delete.’

Is there a way to delete a Word document without sending it to the Recycle Bin or Trash?

You can bypass the Recycle Bin or Trash by selecting the document and pressing ‘Shift + Delete’ on your keyboard. This will prompt you to confirm the permanent deletion of the file.

How can I ensure that a deleted Word document can’t be recovered?

For added security, use file shredding software or reset your computer to its factory settings, which can help make deleted files unrecoverable.


  1. Locate the Word document you want to delete.
  2. Right-click on the document.
  3. Select ‘Delete’ from the menu.
  4. Empty the Recycle Bin or Trash to permanently delete the document.


Knowing how to delete documents from Microsoft Word is an essential skill for maintaining an organized digital workspace. Whether you’re a student, professional, or casual user, there’s always a need to declutter and remove unnecessary files. The process is simple, quick, and can be done in just a few steps. Just remember to be certain that you no longer need the document and to consider creating a backup before deleting anything important. Additionally, if you’re handling sensitive information, consider additional measures to ensure the document can’t be recovered. With these tips and steps in mind, you’ll have no trouble keeping your Word files in check and your computer’s storage optimized.