Resources » Working With PDFs (Basics) » How Do You Delete PDF Files?

How Do I Erase a PDF File From My Phone or Computer?

Deleting PDF files means to remove them entirely from a storage space. On a computer, this means that you’ll no longer be able to access them from your file explorer. In a cloud storage service like Google Drive or Dropbox, this means that the file will no longer be accessible from any device. 

In this article, we’ll show you how to delete PDF files across your various devices and apps, depending on what you use. If you also need help deleting text from a PDF or deleting pages from a PDF, check out the accompanying articles. 

Delete PDF From Computer

  1. Navigate to where your PDF is located on your computer. 
  2. Right-click the PDF.
  3. Select Delete

Follow a similar process for Mac computers. Locate the PDF file on your computer, right-click and select, Move to trash.

right click on a mac brings up

The PDF will then be moved to your computer’s recycling bin (or Trash, if you’re using Mac), where files that you no longer want can be deleted. Files stored within the recycling bin are marked for deletion, but aren’t deleted yet, in case you accidentally deleted the wrong file. However, once you empty the recycling bin, these files will no longer be accessible. However, they also will no longer take up space on your computer’s storage device. 

How to Delete PDFs From Your Phone

Deleting files from your Android phone

  1. Navigate to where your Files are stored on your device.
android phone screen showing the documents location in categories for how to delete a pdf from your phone
  1. Select Documents to access where your PDFs are stored. 
android phone screen with a pdf called larry's menu for how to delete a pdf from your phone
  1. Tap and hold the PDF file and select Delete

PDFs deleted using this method on your phone will not move to a recycling bin. They will be immediately deleted from your device, so exercise caution! Methods differ, depending on the make/model of your device. 

Deleting files from an iPhone

Tap the Files app on your device.

iphone folder with 6 pdfs

Scroll to find the PDF, and tap it once to open the menu of options. Select Delete

tap a pdf once and this menu appears. it reads download now, get info, rename and more. find the delete option to delete a pdf
Delete a pdf is the last option on the menu, and it is in red. Delete a PDF

How to Delete PDFs from Cloud Storage Services

There are a lot of cloud storage services available that can be used to store PDFs and other documents. For this article, we’ll be covering Google Drive, a popular and free cloud storage service that is commonly used for storing and sharing documents across multiple devices. 

  1. Navigate to where your PDF is stored. 
  2. Right click it. 
  3. Select Move to Trash
right click menu for deleting a pdf from google drive. Select move to trash, which is highlighted in gray.

Your PDF will then be moved to the trash section of your cloud storage. Note that Google Drive’s trash automatically deletes the items it contains after 30 days. You can also manually empty the trash by clicking Empty Trash, or by right-clicking on the item in your trash and selecting “delete forever.”

Trash for My Drive in Google Drive. Empty trash or permanently delete a single file from your trash.

The same process of right-clicking a file that’s stored in cloud storage and then selecting delete will work for most services.