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How to delete a Microsoft Word document

Are old Word files taking up too much space?

Published onJanuary 10, 2023

Microsoft Word has stood the test of time as one of the premier word-processing programs available across platforms. That said, it’s essential to know how to use Word properly. This means knowing how to create and delete files. This is how to delete a Word document.

Read more: How to add a line to a Microsoft Word document


To delete a Word document, launch File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac). Go to your Word document and right-click it. Select Delete (Windows) or Move to Trash (Mac).


How to delete a Word document on Windows

The process to delete a Word document is the same as deleting any other file on your computer. What you’re essentially doing is removing that text file from your device.

delete word document
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  1. Launch File Explorer on your Windows computer. You can find this in your taskbar or by opening the Start menu and searching for the File Explorer app.
  2. Find the Word document you wish to delete and right-click it.
  3. If you’re on Windows 11, you must select Show more options. From there, choose Delete.

Alternatively, if you want to permanently delete the file, click on the Word document and press Shift+Delete on your keyboard.

How to delete a Word document on Mac

Macs have their version of File Explorer called Finder. To delete a Word document, you must locate it within Finder.

  1. Go to Finder.
  2. Locate the Word document you want to delete, then right-click it.
  3. Select Move to Trash.

Can you recover a deleted Word document?

Yes, but only if you haven’t permanently deleted it. To permanently delete a file, you press Shift+Delete on the selected file in File Explorer.

Files on which you right-click and select delete are sent to the Recycle Bin. Items stay there for 30 days, after which they are permanently deleted.

Read more: How to create and print address labels in Microsoft Word

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