How to delete a Word document

Microsoft Word is a useful tool for designing all kinds of documents.

You can choose from various Word templates to create articles, letters, posters, infographics, and more for business or personal use. 

However, sometimes it’s necessary to delete the documents you’ve created. This may be due to storage constraints or simply for the sake of organization.

But did you know you can easily delete a Word document using File Explorer on a Windows PC or laptop?

Simply locate the file you want to dispose of, select it, and press the Delete key. Alternatively, click Delete on the Home tab while in Microsoft Word.

This guide lays out several methods to help you successfully delete your Word documents. 

How to delete Word documents: A step-by-step guide

Listed below are step-by-step instructions on how to delete a Microsoft Word document.

You’ll notice there are instructions for both Windows and Mac, as this process differs depending on which of the two you use. 

Deleting Word documents in Windows

This method uses Windows File Explorer.

Before you begin, ensure the Word application is closed and the document isn’t open in any other program. 

  1. Open Windows File Explorer. This is accessible in the Start menu or you can bring it up by pressing the Windows key + E.
  2. Find the file you wish to delete. You can use the search function or scroll to locate it.
  3. Single-click the file and press the Delete key. 

Top tip: You may also wish to delete several files at once.

To do so, click the first file if the documents are listed next to each other.

Then, hold down Shift and click on the last file in the list. This will highlight a list of files you can delete in one go. 

You can select files for deletion that aren’t in a list too.

To do so, simply hold the CTRL key and click the files you want to remove.

Deleting Word documents on a Mac

Although created by Microsoft, Word isn’t exclusive to Windows devices. You can also use it on a Mac. 

You may be asking yourself, “How do I delete a Word document on a Mac?”

Fear not — follow the instructions below to learn how to delete Microsoft Word documents on an Apple computer. 

  1. Click on Finder in the top left of the screen.
  2. Open Documents.
  3. Select the document you wish to delete.
  4. Right-click on the document. Alternatively, hold Control and click.
  5. Click Move to Trash

Top tip: You can also delete multiple documents simultaneously. Navigate to the folder containing the documents you wish to remove. Click and drag your mouse, or use the Shift key, to select multiple documents. Once selected, right-click, or Control and click, and move them all to trash.

How to delete a document in Word

You can also delete documents from within the Word application itself. Follow these steps to move your unwanted documents to the Recycle Bin.

  1. Open MS Word.
  2. Click the File tab.
  3. Click Open.

Top tip: The document you want rid of may appear under Recent Files. You can delete it now by right-clicking and then selecting Delete.

  1. Click Browse.
  2. Find the file you want to delete using the search function or scroll to locate it.
  3. Right-click on the file and choose Delete.

This will send your document to the Recycle Bin. But perhaps you’d like to know how to delete documents in Microsoft Word permanently.

To do this, right-click on the Recycle Bin and click Empty Recycle Bin. A message will appear asking for confirmation. Click Yes when it does.

Enjoy exceptional document management software with PandaDoc

One reason you may want to delete Word documents is to help with organizational management.

With PandaDoc’s document management software, this is much easier to achieve! 

Automate tasks and encourage collaboration from anywhere with the help of PandaDoc.