This has been asked and answered before, but the answers are for the old interface (predating Google Drive), so I'm asking again.

I have about a hundred docs in my Google Docs view, most of which are junk -- they were apparently shared by some other user, and I really don't want them. The only way I can see to remove them is one at a time, which takes maybe 10-15s each. That's an experience I'm not interested in having.

I really only want to keep a handful of the documents, and I'd even be able to live with it if they had to go, too, but I'm finding Docs to be pretty useless with all the noise.


Please stop trying to "solve" this problem for me on Google Drive. It's not a problem with Google Drive, and the files in question don't show up there at all. The problem is with Google Docs (http://docs.google.com/). There's no "inbox", there's no opportunity to "select" multiple files. The only controls are a little "hamburger" menu that lets me view "Docs", "Sheets", or "Slides", open a Settings page, get Help, or visit Drive, and some icons to switch between tiled and list views, change the sort order, or open the file picker, and an icon to create a new file.

  • Do they have a specific name?
    – Jacob Jan
    Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 19:25
  • No specific name. They appear to be chapters of somebody's diet book, so, e.g., "7.2 Atkins Diet", "6.5 Alcohol Metabolism", "4.3 Types of Cell Update/Transport", and so on.
    – scottb
    Commented Mar 11, 2015 at 20:12
  • 4
    Since Google Docs is really just a view into Google Drive, the solution is probably to use the Google Drive interface.
    – ale
    Commented Dec 24, 2015 at 14:27
  • I have created a userscript to solve this issue, if you use tamper/greasemonkey this will allow you to mouse over your desired file and delete it with SHIFT+D gist.github.com/inkhsutesou/d3b69a395fe1b7d0b7a996723477a001 It is very frustrating that with 30m of my time I can solve a clear QOL problem from 5 years ago. Commented Jan 21, 2021 at 23:58

3 Answers 3


Short anwser

Google Docs (http://docs.google.com) doesn't have a way to delete several files at once. Instead of using it for that use Google Drive web UI, Google Drive for PC/Mac or another tool that use the Google Drive API or Google Apps Script.


Operations in the new Google Docs "file management" web app are very limited. It could be used to:

  • Sort files
  • Filter files by owned by the user by owned not by the user or not filtered
  • Open Google Docs files through the file pickers
  • Delete single files
  • Rename single files

but could not be used to select multiple files and do actions over the selected files at once.


Unfortunately you cannot multi-select files from Docs (or Sheets or Slides) and delete them all at the same time. This kind of file management can only be done from Drive, but it sounds like you're having issues with that.

  1. Here are some steps to find missing files in Drive.
  2. If you're still having problems, contact the Drive support team -- see the "Contact Us" section.
  3. Finally, you can always send feedback about this to the team -- same link as above, see the "User Feedback" section.

You can highlight multiple docs at once using "command" + left click on Mac. I believe that correspond to "control" on PC.

This will highlight multiple docs at once, and then you can click the trashcan which will delete all the selected files.

  • 1
    To add to that you can SHIFT + Click (Windows) to select a range of files. And Ctrl+A (Windows) selects all files, after which you can Ctrl+Click to unselect specific files. Basically the same selection tools you have in Windows File Explorer.
    – MrWhite
    Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 22:58
  • Except that neither of those seem to work. Clicking, with our without any combination of meta keys, opens the document. There is no "select a document" operation that I can see.
    – scottb
    Commented Mar 11, 2015 at 20:08
  • @scottb: It sounds as if you are on the "old" Google drive?! Single-clicking the file should select it, not open it? In the "new" Google Drive you must double-click to open it. (?)
    – MrWhite
    Commented Mar 12, 2015 at 15:14
  • I'm not on Google Drive at all... as I keep pointing out, I'm on Google Docs. The thing I get when I visit docs.google.com. These things don't even show up in Google Drive -- only Docs.
    – scottb
    Commented Mar 12, 2015 at 23:42
  • 1
    @scottb Are you the owner of the files you're trying to delete? If you're searching in Drive in "My Inbox," the shared files won't appear there. Drive aggregates files that are shared with you, and your own files into one list. Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 15:23

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