General Delete File in Windows 11


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Delete_file_banner.png

This tutorial will show you different ways to delete a file in Windows 11.

Files deleted from internal drives are moved to the Recycle Bin by default in Windows 11.

Removable drives, such as USB flash drives and memory cards, do not have a Recycle Bin by default. Files deleted from removable drives are permanently deleted since they do not go to the Recycle Bin. You can enable the Recycle Bin for removable drives to have deleted files from them go to the Recycle Bin instead.

If you turn on Display delete confirmation dialog, you will get a Are you sure you want to move this file to the Recycle Bin? confirmation dialog prompt when deleting a file from an internal drive. By default, a delete confirmation dialog does not display when you delete a file from an internal drive to the Recycle Bin.

If you delete a file that is larger than the set maximum storage size of the drive's recycle bin, you will get a This file is too big to recycle. Do you want to permanently delete it? confirmation dialog prompt.

When you permanently delete a file, it is not moved to the Recycle Bin, and you will get a Are you sure you want to permanently delete this file? confirmation dialog prompt.


Contents





Option One

Delete File using Keyboard Shortcut


1 Select the file(s) you want to delete.

2 Press the key(s) in the table below for the action you want.

Keyboard shortcut​
Action performed​
Ctrl + DDelete to Recycle Bin
DeleteDelete to Recycle Bin
Shift + DeletePermanently delete




Option Two

Delete File from File Explorer Command Bar


1 Open File Explorer (Win+E).

2 Navigate to and select the file(s) you want to delete. (see screenshot below)

3 Perform the action below you want:
  • Click/tap on the Delete button on the command bar to move to Recycle Bin.
  • Press the Shift key while you click/tap on the Delete button on the command bar to permanently delete.
Delete_file_File_Explorer_command_bar.png





Option Three

Delete File from Context Menu Toolbar


1 Select the file(s) you want to delete.

2 Right click on the selected file(s), and perform the action below you want: (see screenshot below)
  • Click/tap on the Delete button on the toolbar at the top to move to Recycle Bin.
  • Press the Shift key while you click/tap on the Delete button on the toolbar at the top to permanently delete.
Delete_file_context_menu_toolbar.png





Option Four

Delete File from "Show more options" Context Menu


1 Select the file(s) you want to delete.

2 Right click on the selected file(s), and click/tap on the Show more options. (see screenshot below)

Delete_file_Show_more_options_context_menu-1.png

3 Perform the action below you want: (see screenshot below)
  • Click/tap on Delete to move to Recycle Bin.
  • Press the Shift key while you click/tap on Delete to permanently delete.
Delete_file_Show_more_options_context_menu-2.png




Option Five

Delete File in PowerShell



1 Open Windows Terminal, and select Windows PowerShell.

2 Type the command below you want to use into PowerShell, and press Enter. (see screenshots below)

(Permanently delete file)​
Remove-Item -Path "Full path of file" -Force

OR​

(Delete file to Recycle Bin)​
(new-object -comobject "Shell.Application").Namespace(0).ParseName("Full path of file").InvokeVerb("delete")

Substitute Full path of file in the command above with the actual full path of the file with its extension you want to delete.

For example: Remove-Item -Path "C:\Users\Brink\Desktop\File.txt" -Force


3 When finished, you can close the Windows Terminal window if you like.

Delete_file_PowerShell.png

Delete_file_PowerShell-2.png





Option Six

Delete File in Command Prompt



1 Open Windows Terminal, and select Command Prompt.

2 Type the command below you want to use into the command prompt, and press Enter. (see screenshots below)

(Permanently delete file)​
del /f /s /q /a "Full path of file"

OR​

(Delete file to Recycle Bin)​
PowerShell (new-object -comobject '"Shell.Application"').Namespace(0).ParseName('"Full path of file"').InvokeVerb('"delete"')

Substitute Full path of file in the command above with the actual full path of the file with its extension you want to delete.

For example: del /f /s /q /a "C:\Users\Brink\Desktop\File.txt"


3 When finished, you can close the Windows Terminal window if you like.

Delete_file_command.png

Delete_file_command-2.png





Option Seven

Delete File in Command Prompt at Boot


1 Open a command prompt at boot.

2 Perform the following steps to confirm the drive letter the file you want to permanently delete is on. (see screenshot below)

The drive letter may not always be the same at boot as in Windows.


A) Type diskpart into the command prompt, and press Enter.​

B) Type list volume into the command prompt, and press Enter.​

C) Verify the drive letter (ex: "C") of the volume the file you want to permanently delete is on.​

D) Type exit into the command prompt, and press Enter.​

Delete_file_command_prompt_at_boot-1.png

3 Type the command below into the command prompt, and press Enter. (see screenshot below step 4)

del /f /s /q /a "Full path of file"

Substitute Full path of file in the command above with the actual full path of the file with its extension you want to permanently delete.

For example: del /f /s /q /a "C:\Users\Brink\Desktop\File.txt"


4 Close the command prompt at boot when finished. (see screenshot below)

Delete_file_command_prompt_at_boot-2.png

5 Click/tap on the Continue to restart the computer and continue to Windows 11. (see screenshot below)

Delete_file_command_prompt_at_boot-3.png


That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

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