How do I delete a file?

Deleting a file is the process of removing it from its current location on a computer system, making it impossible to open or access the file again without restoring it from a backup. There are several ways to delete a file, depending on the operating system and user level you are working with.

1. Using File Explorer:

File Explorer (also known as Windows Explorer in earlier versions of Windows) is the default file management program that comes with Windows. To delete a file using File Explorer, first open File Explorer. The quickest way to do this is to use the Windows key + E keyboard shortcut.

Navigate to the file or folder that you would like to delete then right-click it and select Delete. You may be asked to confirm the deletion before the file is removed. Additionally, pressing the Delete key on your keyboard will also delete the file, however, this will not move the file to your Recycle Bin and the file will be permanently deleted.

2. Using Command Prompt or PowerShell:

Using Command Prompt or PowerShell to delete files is more powerful, but slightly more complicated than File Explorer and can be used to delete multiple files at once. To delete a single file using Command Prompt or PowerShell, open a Command Prompt window or PowerShell window.

Then type “del” followed by the path and file name of the file you wish to delete. For example, to delete the file C:\test.txt, you would enter “del C:\test.txt”. To delete multiple files, you can use wildcards (* and ?). For example, to delete all .txt files in a particular folder, you could type “del C:\myfolder\*.txt”.

3. Recycle Bin:

The Recycle Bin is a special folder used to store files and folders that have been deleted from the operating system. All Windows versions since Windows 95 have included a Recycle Bin. The Recycle Bin is used to store files and folders that have been recently deleted for a certain amount of time, so users may recover a deleted file if they change their mind.

To delete files from the Recycle Bin, open it by double-clicking the icon on your desktop or pointing your mouse cursor at it and selecting open. Once the Recycle Bin is open, you can select the files you want to delete and press the Delete button on your keyboard or right-click the file and select Delete.

Additionally, you can empty the entire contents of the Recycle Bin at any time by clicking the Empty Recycle Bin button located at the upper left corner of the window. When you empty the Recycle Bin, the deleted files and folders will be permanently removed from your system and can only be recovered from a backup.

4. Shortcut Method:

On Windows, you can also delete files quickly by dragging and dropping them onto the Recycle Bin icon on your desktop or into the Recycle Bin window. To do this, simply select the files or folders you want to delete, then drag and drop them onto the Recycle Bin icon or window. You may be asked to confirm the action before the files are deleted.

5. Deleting Locked Files:

Sometimes a file may be locked by an application or a system process, preventing you from deleting it even if you are logged on as an Admin user. This can happen when a file is in use, even if you can’t see it open in any programs. To delete a locked file, you must first close the program or process that has the file open. You can do this by checking the Task Manager and ending the task associated with the file.

Once the task or program has been closed, you can attempt to delete the file again. If the file is still locked, you can use a third-party application such as Unlocker to force-delete the file. Please be careful using third-party applications, as they may cause damage to your system if used incorrectly.

In summary, there are several ways to delete a file depending on the user level and operating system you are working with. The most common method is to use File Explorer, although Command Prompt and PowerShell can also be used depending on your level of experience. Additionally, you can also delete files quickly by dragging and dropping them into the Recycle Bin, and if a file is locked you can use a third-party application such as Unlocker to force-delete it.