How to Empty Trash in Google Drive

Do you want to empty the trash in Google Drive? Then follow this tutorial to check how to empty the trash in Google Drive. To save the space also we need to empty the trash in Google Drive.

In Google Drive, we have the possibility of deleting our files knowingly or accidentally. But the thing is, we can recover our files in the trash for 30 days. So if you ever feel a need to recover a file, then you have the option. But what if you wish to get rid of files immediately in the trash? So the question is, How do you empty trash in Google Drive.

Earlier, Google used to keep your deleted files saved in the trash folder of Google Drive and until and unless you delete them manually, the files used to be saved there. But Google has changed its policies.

So if you don’t want to delete your trash right away, then let Google delete the file from the trash as well.

Why Empty Trash in Google Drive?

There might be several reasons to empty the trash. Here are the common reasons to empty the trash in Google Drive.

  • Your Google Drive storage space is running out, and you need some space to keep your new files.
  • You have way too many junk files in the Trash folder, and you wish to clean it.
  • Google Drive trash has many useless attachment files that you don’t use or need anymore.
  • You want to delete some files immediately without keeping any backup or way to restore them.

Read: How To Create A Google Drive Account For A Group- Using Google Workspace

Google Drive Trash- Introduction

Before getting into emptying the trash, let’s have a look at general information about trash.

Google Drive will wait for 30 days to recover the files if we delete them knowingly or accidentally. So there is a change to restore the files. However, there are certain limitations that you should consider.

  • No Notifications – The restored files are not marked or flagged for you to identify them. Once you have recovered the files, Google Drive will not let you know which files you have restored.
  • Sharing settings cannot be restored – The sharing settings cannot be restored in Auto mode. Instead, you have to do it manually, which can be complicated.
  • Only 30 Days of Data Protection – You can recover the files from the trash Files within 30 days otherwise, files will be deleted permanently and there is no way to recover them.
  • Require Admin Assistance -If you wish to restore a file from the Google Drive trash, you will need Google Admin assistance to get your files back.

Read: How to Upload iMovie to Google Drive

How to Move Files to Google Drive Trash?

If the files are synced with your devices then there is a chance of duplicated files will get back to the drive. It will occupy Google Drive storage as well. So it is better to empty the trash so that space will be available for newer files. Before empty the trash, make sure you have enough files over there in Google Drive to make it empty.

Below are the steps that you have to follow to move your files from Google Drive to trash.


  • Initially, Open Google Drive from your computer or web browser and sign in to your account.
  • Now, look and select the file or files that you wish to delete. You can use the CTRL key to select multiple files.
  • Then right-click on the file and select Move to trash the file from Google Drive.
Empty the Trash in Google Drive


  • Make sure you have installed Google Drive on your mobile phone. Select the file’s icon at the bottom.
  • Then long press on a file to select it. Also, you can select multiple files at the same time.
  • Finally, click on the trash can icon at the top to move the file to your trash folder.


  • First of all, launch the Google Drive app on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Then tap on the file’s icon at the bottom.
  • Now select the items that you wish to delete.
  • Next, click on the three horizontal dots at the top and tap on Remove.
Empty the trash in Google Drive application

Read: Google Drive Vs iCloud

How to Empty Trash in Google Drive?

Once the files are moved to the trash folder, it’s time to empty the trash in Google Drive.

Empty Trash in Google Drive
empty all trash google drive

The files are usually kept in the trash for 30 days in Google Drive and then they get permanently deleted automatically. But if you are running out of space, then you can delete the files before the deadline.

For this, you will need to follow these steps.

Empty the Trash on Desktop/Laptop

  • Open Google Drive and sign in with your credentials.
  • Now on the left side, click on the Trash option to empty the trash on your laptop or desktop.
empty trash in Google Drive
how to empty google drive trash all at once
  • In this folder, you can see all the files or images deleted will be occupied here.
  • Now you can delete individual files by right-clicking on them and selecting Delete forever.
empty trash Google Drive
how to clear google drive trash
  • You can also click on the Empty trash button from the top right corner and then select Delete Forever to empty trash Google Drive.
Empty Trash in the Google Drive

Empty the Trash in Android Mobile

  • Go to the Google Drive app from your Android phone.
  • Then tap on the three dots icon from the top left corner and go to trash.
  • Now select all the files one by one.
  • Once selected, click on the three dots icon select Delete forever, and then confirm your action, and you are all done.

Empty the Trash in the iPhone/iPad

  • Go to the Bin folder using the Google Drive app.
  • Then tap on the three horizontal dots next to the item you want to remove
  • Finally, select Delete forever on the screen and confirm your action.
Empty Trash in iPhone

This is how you have to empty the trash in all the platforms.

Read: How to reduce file size in Google drive

Google Drive Empty Trash Not Working

Sometimes while trying to empty the trash in Google Drive, we may face errors. While this error might be rare. We can troubleshoot by ourselves by the below methods.

Clear Browser Cache

The issue usually appears because of the browser cache, so by deleting them, you will be able to get rid of the error. To clear the browser cache, you can follow the below steps.

  • Open Google Chrome.
  • Click on the three dots icon from the top right corner.
  • Select Clear Browsing Data.
Empty trash from Google Drive
  • Finally, select the Time range using the drop-down menu and click on Clear data.
Empty Trash from Drive
  • How to Rotate a PDF in Google Drive

Delete a few files at a time

Selecting all the files at once and deleting them may cause an error. Instead, select some files then right-click and delete the files.

Deleting individual files is also possible, but it will take more time if there is a large number of files to empty the trash.

Empty Trash on a Mobile Device

Due to some technical error, we were unable to use a computer or laptop to empty the trash. For that reason, you can use a mobile to make things easier. But the drawback of using Google Drive on mobile is there is no empty trash button.

So you have to select every file one by one and delete it. Still, you can use the mobile to check in the Google Drive web, from there you can empty trash in Google Drive.

Turn off all extensions

Maybe it’s your installed browser extensions that are causing issues with the empty trash Google Drive feature. So you can try turning off all the extensions and check if you are still getting the same Google Drive cannot empty trash error. For this, you have to follow these steps:

  • Open Google Chrome to turn off all other extensions.
  • Then click on the three dots icon.
  • Select Extensions. Also, you can copy and paste this URL into your browser chrome://extensions/.
how to empty all trash in google drive
how to empty google drive trash at once
  • Finally, Remove all the extensions one by one and then check in Google Drive. At last restart the system to make the work easier and check it.


This is all about how to empty trash in Google Drive. Check from your end and clear the unwanted files thus emptying the trash and having enough space in Google Drive.

You may like the following articles: