I am trying to clear out google files that I do not need. They are documents my children needed for school during the COVID shutdown. I was able to remove several of them however there are some that I can not remove from my drive. It does not allow me to select remove on the drop-down menu for that particular file. What should I do to remove them from my file?

3 Answers 3


This answer by Jo S. from 'Move To Trash' Button Greyed Out on Google Docs Editor Help sounds relevant to you.

Google Docs documents that have been shared with you aren't actually in your Drive unless you move them there. If the Remove option is grayed out, it means you haven't moved them into Drive and they are only in the "Shared with me" folder.

In other words, another user has the document in their Google Drive and you are simply sharing that file. The file is not yours to delete.

  • 1
    You can, however, remove yourself from the list of users that that document has been shared with. That way, the document won't appear any more in the "Shared with me" section.
    – Flimm
    Commented Nov 24, 2021 at 13:53
  • @Flimm Ahh, of course. May I respectfully suggest that this comment is worth posting as a separate answer. Though my answer explains why, your suggestion provides a very sensible solution to how to remove those files.
    – Tedinoz
    Commented Nov 24, 2021 at 22:26

If you own the document, you can move the document to the bin. If you don't own the document, you can remove yourself from the list of users that the document has been shared with. That way, it will no longer appear in your "Shared with me" section, or in your search results.

  • So what do I have to do to remove myself from the list of users with access to that document? Commented Jul 31, 2022 at 11:08
  • 2
    @PaulRazvanBerg Click on the "share" button, find yourself in the list of users that the document is shared with, click on the little arrow next to your name and permission level, and click "Remove access".
    – Flimm
    Commented Aug 1, 2022 at 8:41
  • I think the answer and comment are good, and worth combining.
    – Blindspots
    Commented Jul 7, 2023 at 23:15

Drag and drop the files to the Bin usually works.

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  • The trash bin is not available for these items. When I click on the item that I want to delete the trash bin turns from black to grey.
    – Tasia
    Commented Oct 15, 2021 at 17:58

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