A few years ago, I had a massive shared directory (shared by me) in my Google Drive with a lot of files (5,000+). This directory was used by multiple users. However, I deleted that directory some time ago (years); therefore, I'm no longer able to see that directory.

However, by searching, I can still find those files in that directory. I can remove them one by one, but as I said, there are a lot of files, and it is not possible for me to remove (or find) them one by one.

How can I remove these files completely?
If I do manage to delete them, will these files be deleted from other (shared) users as well?
In addition, is it possible for me to disable the Google drive sharing feature (I don't trust it anymore)?

– Trash is clear.
– I was the owner of the shared directory.
– I cannot find the physical location of the file. I can only find them though search.
– AFAIR, the directory was shared with anyone with link.


1 Answer 1


According to what is said in the question, the deletion of the directory that was deleted years make that the files contained by it become "orphaned files".

When you "remove" them from your Drive they will be sent to your Trash. From there you could permanently deleted. While the file is on the Trash collaborators might find it but they will not be able to edit it, once it is permanently deleted the will not be able to find it and will not be able to do anything with it.

It's worthy to note that nowadays shared folders and files from others can't be moved to My Drive, nowadays only it's possible to create a folder and file shortcuts.

Regarding disabling file sharing in Google Drive this is not possible. You might tweak your computer/web browser to hide some button but the feature will stay there.

On Google Workspace Accounts the organization administrator might disable files with people that doesn't belong to the organization but not with people from the same organization.



Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.