I'm trying to clean my drive, and there are files that have been shared with me, that I don't want anymore. I select these files, then I remove them. But since they have been shared with me as editable items, I fear I am deleting the original file. That's not desirable at all. All I want is to remove my sharing state of those files, so that I don't see them anymore.

So, what is done behind the scenes? Does removing a file from Incoming folder only mean stop sharing, or does it delete the original file if you have the edit permission?

2 Answers 2


Yes, deleting a shared file will delete it from the the shared drive and ultimately the delete will propogate to all other synced devices.

You can just do an experiment: Delete a shared file that no one cares about and see what happens. Create a dummy file if you need to. Or just "undelete" the file from your trash bin (if you are syncing to a device that implements a trash bin concept) once you've run the experiment.

See also this post on the Google forums.

  • 1
    So, is it possible to "unshare" a file without deleting it?
    – MrWhite
    Commented May 31, 2015 at 16:19
  • There is a video tutorial that addresses this topic.
    – Tom
    Commented May 31, 2015 at 21:33
  • Sometimes you see something from Internet Giants like Google, that makes you shocked. Such a stupid user experience. So, what is the real meaning of owning something. Stupid Google. Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 3:00

Only the owner of a file is able to delete the file, but folder editors could remove (not delete) files from the folder. If the file isn't on another folder, the it becomes an "orphaned file".


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