How to Get Rid of a File or Folder in Windows 10 - dummies

How to Get Rid of a File or Folder in Windows 10

By Andy Rathbone

Sooner or later, you’ll want to delete a file from Windows 10 that’s no longer important — yesterday’s lottery picks, for example, or a particularly embarrassing digital photo. To delete a file or folder, right-click its name or icon. Then choose Delete from the pop-up menu. This surprisingly simple trick works for files, folders, shortcuts, and just about anything else in Windows.

To delete in a hurry, click the offending object and press the Delete key. Dragging and dropping a file or folder to the Recycle Bin does the same thing.

The Delete option deletes entire folders, including any files or folders stuffed inside those folders. Make sure that you select the correct folder before you choose Delete.

  • Unlike earlier Windows versions, Windows 10 doesn’t toss a box in your face, asking whether you’re sure you want to delete the file. If you prefer being asked, right-click the Recycle Bin, choose Properties, and place a check mark next to Display Delete Confirmation Dialog.
  • Be extra sure that you know what you’re doing when deleting any file that depicts a little gear in its icon. These files are usually sensitive hidden files that belong to apps or programs, and the computer wants you to leave them alone. (Other than that, they’re not particularly exciting, despite the action-oriented gears.)
  • Icons with little arrows in their corner are shortcuts, which are push buttons that merely load files. Deleting shortcuts deletes only a button that loads a file or program. The file or program itself remains undamaged and still lives inside your computer.
  • To undelete a file, open the Recycle Bin, right-click your file’s name, and choose Restore.